SkyBridge's Scaramucci, Apollo's Spilker OKed To Bid On Mets

Mar 21 2011 | 7:40am ET

Steven Cohen and Marc Lasry may not have any interest in a minority stake in the New York Mets, but plenty of other alternative investments players apparently do.

Indeed, all four groups that have been approved by Major League Baseball so far include prominent members of the hedge fund and alternative investments communities. All of the group, and several others yet to be approved, can now look at the Mets' books as they consider a bid.

At least one group has already seen those books, and it includes Marc Spilker, Goldman Sachs' former head of hedge funds and now president of Apollo Global Management. Spilker's group is led by David Heller, co-head of global securities at Goldman.

Also mulling a slice of the Mets is SkyBridge Capital's Anthony Scaramucci, another Goldman vet, who is part of a group with 1-800-Flowers founder James McCann. Marc Utay of private equity firm Clarion Capital Partners and Leo Hindery of p.e. shop InterMedia Partners are another group, and Steven Starker, co-founder of BTIG, a broker-dealer catering to the alternative investments community, leads a third.

Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz are seeking a buyer for as much as 40% of the Mets. The Wilpons, their Sterling Equities and Katz have been sued for more than $1 billion by the court-appointed trustee in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, and the debt-laden team had to resort to more than $100 million in loans last month.

Whether any of those alternatives executive agree to part with the $200 million or so that the Wilpons will want remains to be seen; certainly, the Wilpons' partners in the Mets' cable television network, SportsNet New York, do not appear interested in making things easy for them.

Time Warner Cable and Comcast Corp. are unlikely to allow the Wilpons and Katz to sell part of their 65% stake in SNY, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Mets owners have said that a piece of SNY is not on the table for a potential minority partner, making a stake in the team somewhat less valuable.

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