Steve Cohen Breaks Silence on Failed Mets Purchase - Sports Illustrated

Steve Cohen Breaks Silence on Failed Mets Purchase

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The potential sale of the Mets continues to look like it will fall apart.

On Thursday, billionaire Steve Cohen addressed reports that his attempt to buy a majority stake in the team collapsed. 

"I'm very disappointed we couldn't work out a deal, but as an 8% hold I'm looking forward to a higher bid for the team," Cohen said in a statement to The New York Times. "I want to thank the fans for their support and the respect they showed me and I want to thank Commissioner Manfred and MLB for their support through the process.

"I gave it my best shot."

The Mets ownership group released a statement on the attempted deal, writing, "The transaction between Sterling and Steve Cohen was a highly complicated one. Despite the efforts of the parties over the past several months, it became apparent that the transaction as contemplated would have been too difficult to execute."

The Wilpons still intend to sell the Mets.

Earlier in the day, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred cast doubt on the reported sale to  Cohen. 

"My belief is there's not going to be a transaction," Manfred said at the owners meeting in Orlando, Fla.

The commissioner's comment comes two days after reports indicated Cohen was going to give up his attempt to purchase a majority stake in the Mets. The New York Post reported Cohen was "deeply unhappy" after the Wilpon family changed the terms of the deal during a late stage of negotiations. After reports surfaced, the Mets released a statement saying they would not address the rumors

"The parties are subject to confidentiality obligations, including a mutual non-disclosure agreement, and therefore cannot comment," the club said.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday evening that the deal could still go through despite the snag.

"The dispute centered on the Wilpon family's desire to retain control of the team after surrendering majority ownership, as well as on the schedule of payments Cohen would make," according to the Times.

Last month, it was announced that Fred and Jeff Wilpon were looking to sell a majority of the team, which they have controlled since 2002, through holding company Sterling Partners. Bloomberg reported that Cohen was looking to acquire up to 80% of the team.

Under the agreement, Fred Wilpon would have remained in the role of Control Person and CEO for five years. Jeff Wilpon would have retained his role as Chief Operating Officer for that time as well.

Cohen would continue to also work as the CEO and President of Point72 Asset Management.

Cohen has been a Mets minority owner since 2012. The Wilpons have owned a majority stake since 1986 and bought the remaining 50% in 2002.