Mets COO Jeff Wilpon: ‘Four or five suitors’ interested in buying team
The New York Mets organization continues to languish on the open market despite the Wilpon family’s desire to sell the team. After months and months of reports that a potential sale could be imminent — including negotiations involving some seriously high-profile individuals — nothing has come to fruition.
Now, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon is indicating that interest in the team is ratcheting up, as he claims a handful of legitimate suitors have emerged, as relayed by Yaron Weitzman of Bleacher Report.
During a panel tonight for UJA-Federation of New York, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon was asked whether the Mets are for sale:— Yaron Weitzman (@YaronWeitzman) June 12, 2020
"The team will have some kind of transaction," he said, adding: "There’s four or five suitors that are out there to do something with."
Full quote below: pic.twitter.com/PvhsoD4Twi
“The team will have some kind of transaction, I can’t tell you exactly what it’s going to be and how it’s going to look,” Wilpon said Thursday. “But we’re working toward a transaction and there’s four or five suitors that are out there to do something with and [there’s] a bunch of philanthropic planning and family planning that my dad and my uncle want to do, and that’s totally fine.”
Wilpon declined to provide any additional information on the supposed suitors, saying, “When we have something to truly announce and tell you about, we’ll do that.”
The Mets appeared poised to be sold back in February, but billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen abruptly pulled out of a potential $2.6 billion deal that would have made him majority owner of the franchise.
In the wake of the breakdown in the proposed sale to Cohen, Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez emerged as potential suitors, but the supercouple’s attempt to put together an ownership group failed to come together. Another wealthy A-lister and Mets superfan later insisted he had no interest whatsoever in buying the ball club.
As things stand as of now, private equity billionaires Josh Harris and David Blitzer are said to be “serious” about putting together a bid for the Mets. The duo’s portfolio already boasts ownership stakes in the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.
What’s more, it appears that A-Rod and JLo have not given up their pursuit of the Amazins, either. The word is that the celebrities are aware of the interest by Harris and Blitzer, but it sounds like they remain inclined to assemble their own group.
The couple reportedly are prepared to put “hundreds of millions” of their own money into a potential offer and are reaching out to “very senior bankers at JPMorgan Chase” to gauge their interest, per Thorton McHenry of the New York Post.