Einhorn Could Control Mets In Three Years

May 31 2011 | 9:41am ET

Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn will own a majority of the New York Mets in just three years—or his one-third stake in the baseball team will be, essentially, free.

Those are the terms of the agreement being worked on by the hedge fund manager and the Mets' current owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz. According to ESPN New York, Einhorn will get one-third of the Mets for what is essentially a loan: In three years, he'll have the option to boost his stake to 60% unless Wilpon and Katz, facing more than $1 billion in potential liabilities stemming from the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, repay the $200 million Einhorn is to invest. But even if Wilpon and Katz are able to do so, and pony up, Einhorn gets to keep one-sixth of the team.

A deal between Einhorn and the Mets has not yet been finalized; Einhorn told the The New York Times this weekend that he hoped to finish it by the end of June and that it was "down to very, very small issues, and mostly documentations and approvals." It is unclear how much Einhorn would have pay to take control of the struggling Mets, who could lost $70 million and are hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.

Einhorn also wants to be indemnified from the Madoff case, the Times reports.

Speaking to the Grey Lady, Einhorn denied that the deal was weighted heavily to one side or the other.

"When the agreement first came, there was a lot of reaction that this was a very one-sided agreement in favor of the Wilpons," he said. "And now, as other stuff, much of which is not correct, has come out, there's a lot of you [saying the deal] is in favor of me. And I think both of those characterizations are wrong. This agreement is a fair agreement."


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