It hasn't been easy, but Greenlight Capital founder David Einhorn may finally be near a deal making him the minority owner of the New York Mets.
The Mets, wracked with huge debts and huge losses, and with their owners facing a huge lawsuit filed by the trustee in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme case, have satisfied the banks that the team owes $400 million to, The New York Times reports. Those banks, led by JPMorgan Chase, had balked at terms that would see Einhorn repaid prior to them.
All that remains is to complete the paperwork, meaning that the Mets will finally have access to the $200 million Einhorn will provide as soon as next month, the Times says. The deal could still be held up if Commissioner Bud Selig, who earlier this month said he would approve Einhorn as a minority owner, decides to send the matter to a vote of baseball's 30 owners.
The Mets plan to use $25 million of Einhorn's money to repay Major League Baseball and $75 million to pay down bank debt. The rest will be used to fund team operations.
Einhorn will get a one-third stake in the team for what is, in effect, a loan. Fred Wilpon, the team's majority owner, will have about five years to repay the hedge fund manager. If he does not, Einhorn will have an option to increase his stake in the team to 60%. And even if Einhorn gets every dollar of his $200 million back, he still gets to keep a chunk of the team, reportedly about 16%.