Want to buy the Mets without enduring a messy transition? That could happen in the wake of the latest sale fiasco.
An industry source told The Post that, with Allen & Co. set to put the Mets back on the market Monday after the $2.6 billion deal with hedge-fund magnate Steve Cohen imploded last week, there will be no preconditions on the terms of the sale.
Unlike the Cohen deal, the Wilpons and Katzes are open to surrendering power immediately. Bloomberg first reported this development.
After honing in on Cohen months ago, the Mets this time intend to open their sale process in more of a conventional auction.
The Mets and Cohen announced in December their agreement for a sale on the condition that “Fred Wilpon will remain in the role of the Control Person and CEO for five years and Jeff Wilpon will remain in his role of Chief Operating Officer for the 5 year period as well.”
That wording left room open for interpretation; a “role,” after all, can refer to a title and salary without actual power. While accounts of why and how this deal fell apart differed wildly, a significant portion of the disagreement clearly covered how much say such “roles” entitled the Wilpons to even as Cohen increased his investment in the club.
Throw in the Mets’ flushed agreement with a second hedge-fund magnate, David Einhorn, back in 2011, and that marks two occasions in which the current club owners announced their intention to sell the club, only to fail to reach the finish line. With team president Saul Katz desiring to divest his shares, the urgency to sell the team hasn’t dissipated.
The onus falls on the Wilpons and Katzes to find a buyer who can match Cohen’s considerable net worth and sizable offer. As Cohen, still a Mets minority owner, jabbed in a statement last week, “…as an 8% holder I’m looking forward to a higher bid for the team.”