The Mets reportedly may seek up to $200 million for a minority stake in the team, according to a story published by The New York Times on Wednesday night.
The Mets have not commented on the report, but they have previously acknowledged their desire to find a minority partner to help with the financial demand of the lawsuit they're currently involved in. Irving Picard, a trustee charged with recovering funds for victims of the Bernard Madoff's scheme, is seeking $1 billion from Sterling Equities, the ownership group of the Mets.
A person involved in the sale process told the Times that the team's ownership group is telling potential bidders that they will not have the ability to purchase a controlling stake in the franchise. According to the report, the Mets are telling bidders that they will sell up to 40 percent of the club, and they might also be willing to sell a portion of SNY, their regional sports network. Owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon have previously said they are only willing to sell 20-25 percent of the team.
The Times singled out several potential candidates for the purchase, including Jason Reese, the chairman of Imperial Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment bank. David Heller, a Goldman Sachs executive, and Marc Spilker, the president of Apollo Global Management, are reportedly interested in pooling their resources to make the purchase.
The Times also reported that Steven Starker, a co-founder of global trading firm BTIG, would join with Kenny Dichter, Doug Ellin and Randy Frankel to put together their own group. Dichter is the co-founder of Marquis Jet, and Ellis is the creator of the HBO program "Entourage," while Frankel already owns a minority stake of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Other potential investors include one run by James McCann, the founder of 1-800-Flowers.com, and Anthony Scaramucci, who runs hedge firm SkyBridge Capital. The Times also named a group headed by Marc A. Utay, managing partner of Clarion Capital, and Leo Hindery, the first chief executive of the YES network, as another candidate.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.