Madoff Lawsuit Pushes Mets Owners To Mull Stake Sale

Jan 28 2011 | 5:02pm ET

After a year-and-a-half denying that their losses in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme would affect the team, the owners of the New York Mets are putting a piece of the baseball club up for sale.

Fred and Jeff Wilpon said today that they would seek to sell up to a 25% stake in the Mets as a result of a clawback lawsuit against them. The Wilpons, who had about half a billion dollars invested with Madoff, a longtime family friend, withdrew $47.8 million more than they invested during their decades as Madoff clients, Irving Picard, the court-appointed receiver in the case, has alleged.

Picard sued the Wilpons and the Mets in December, even though the two sides were "engaged in good-faith negotiations" over a settlement. Any money the Wilpons raise from the Mets sale could be put towards such a settlement.

"To address the air of uncertainty created by this lawsuit, and to provide additional assurance that the New York Mets will continue to have the necessary resources to fully compete and win, we are looking at a number of potential options," the Wilpons said.

The Mets are worth an estimated $858 million, the third-highest valuation of any team, according to Forbes magazine. A sale of a quarter of the team could net more than $200 million for the Wilpons, who bought half of the team in 1986 and then bought out their co-owners for $131 million in 2002.

If such a sale were to occur—Fred Wilpon stressed that "we may or may not do anything"—neither the Mets' new stadium, Citi Field, nor its cable network, SportsNet New York, would be affected.

"I want to emphasize what we are discussing today has not and will not affect the Mets' day-to-day operations and control," Fred Wilpon told reporters on a conference call.


In Depth

Q&A: Jeff Eaton Talks Capital Raising, CalPERS And The Secondaries Market

Oct 14 2014 | 10:16am ET

Global placement agent Eaton Partners has raised close to $60 billion for some of...

Lifestyle

MacDonald-Korth Offers Insights Into Paintings Bought, Sold By Hedgies

Oct 7 2014 | 9:00am ET

Definitive and complete ratings require an in-person examination of an artwork,...

Guest Contributor

PAAMCO: European Equity Exposure - Challenging Year, But All is Not Lost

Oct 16 2014 | 4:12am ET

European equity hedge fund managers have had a tough time so far this year. The...

 

Videos

Editor's Note

    Must Attend Hedge Fund Charity Events For October

    Sep 30 2014 | 9:29am ET

    The crisp Autumnal days of October are upon us, and so are a few of the hedge fund industry’s favorite charitable events. If you have never been to Rocktoberfest, well, you are missing out. And for a quieter evening of sipping and socializing, stop by HFC’s Wine Soiree. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

October 2014 Cover

Deeply flawed risk benchmark

Most traders agree that proper risk management is the key to successful trading. However, many traders depend on the deeply flawed measure of standard deviation as a benchmark of risk. Here we put it ...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.