Billionaire Steve Cohen reportedly still wants to buy the Mets.
Despite news in early February that his deal to acquire a majority stake in the franchise fell through, the New York Post reported Wednesday that Cohen has not "given up on buying the Mets." In addition to owning the Mets, Cohen also reportedly wants the franchise's majority stake in cable network SNY if he were to bid close to the Wilpons' $3 billion valuation of the club.
Earlier this month, Cohen addressed reports that his attempt to buy a majority stake in the team collapsed, saying he "gave it my best shot."
At the time, the Mets ownership group released a statement on the attempted deal. "The transaction between Sterling and Steve Cohen was a highly complicated one," the statement read. "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 own 65% of the SNY, the cable network that broadcasts the majority of the team's games. Banking sources told The Post the network is valued between $850 million-$1 billion, with gross earnings near $150 million annually.
"Cohen wants SNY, and he wants it at fair value,” one banker familiar with the deal told the New York paper. “The team loses $50 million a year in a good year, so he wants SNY’s revenue, and he might pay a small premium to never have to deal with Fred and Jeff [Wilpon] ever again.”
Among other prospective buyers who have surfaced in recent weeks is former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez was reportedly "kicking the tires" on the idea of bidding in an upcoming auction for the Mets.
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.
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.