Greenwich resident and hedge fund executive Steve Cohen is in negotiations with the owners of the New York Mets to buy a majority stake of the Major League Baseball team.
The team’s ownership group, Sterling Partners, is run by the father-and-son team of Fred and Jeff Wilpon. The Mets issued a press statement detailing that the transaction would enable Fred Wilpon to remain the Mets’ CEO and Jeff Wilpon as chief operating officer for the next five years.
Cohen, the president and CEO of Stamford’s Point72 Asset Management, will have his interest in the team managed by his family office, Cohen Private Ventures.
Cohen’s previous firm, S.A.C. Capital Advisors, pleaded guilty to insider trading charges and paid a $1.8 billion fine in 2013, which the U.S. Department of Justice identified as the largest insider trading settlement in history. In 2016, he settled a civil case with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission that prohibited him from managing outside money until 2018, at which time he relaunched S.A.C. as Point72.
Neither the Mets nor Cohen provided the financial aspects of the transaction, which has yet to be finalized. Bloomberg News, citing an unnamed “person familiar with the matter,” reported the deal’s value would be a baseball record of $2.6 billion, with Cohen acquiring up to an 80% stake in the team. Forbes reported the Mets had $340 million in revenue during 2018 and a valuation of $2.3 billion.
The Mets won the National League pennant in 2000 and 2015, but have not won a World Series since 1986. Fred Wilpon and his brother-in-law Saul Katz bought their first stake in the Mets in 1980, with Wilpon becoming majority owner of the Mets in 2002. Cohen, whom Forbes estimated as being worth $13.6 billion, bought a 4% stake in the team in 2012 after a failed attempt to acquire the Los Angeles Dodgers.