Mets, Einhorn Back In Exclusive Talks

Jul 22 2011 | 12:14pm ET

What was widely seen as a sweetheart deal to buy a big chunk of the New York Mets for Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn might not be quite so sweet anymore.

Einhorn and the Mets re-entered exclusive negotiations for Einhorn to buy a minority stake in the team, but only after the Mets owners, emboldened by a recent court decision, reached out to several bidders they had previously spurned.

Striking a final agreement has taken significantly longer than the Mets anticipated, keeping from them the $200 million from Einhorn that the cash-strapped and debt-laden team so desperately needs. For what amounts to a loan of that amount, Einhorn would reportedly get one-third of the team and the right to take a majority stake in five or more years if the Wilpons, who currently own the Mets, were unable to repay him.

The Mets and Einhorn continued to talk despite the expiration of his exclusive negotiating window. But the favorable ruling in the Bernard Madoff case, which forced the Mets to seek a minority owner in the first place, led Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon to reach out to some of the bidders it picked Einhorn over.

Wilpon, who said recently he wasn't happy with the deal he reached with Einhorn, met with one of those bidders, former Glencore International trader Ray Bartoszek, at his Long Island home on Wednesday morning. But by Wednesday evening, the Mets issued a statement saying they "are in exclusive negotiations" with Einhorn.

It is unclear what concessions Einhorn may have made to the team.

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