Mets, Einhorn Call Off Deal

Sep 1 2011 | 10:58am ET

David Einhorn will not be the next owner of the New York Mets—minority or otherwise.

The baseball team announced today that it had ended negotiations with the Greenlight Capital founder, three months after first announcing it had selected the hedge fund manager as its preferred partner. Though the team's exclusive negotiating window with Einhorn expired months ago, sources close to both sides have insisted that a deal was near.

"After months of negotiations, the parties were unable to reach agreement, and the Mets ownership has decided to explore other options," the Mets, reeling from huge losses and potentially enormous liabilities stemming from the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, said.

In a statement of his own, Einhorn seemed to point the finger at the Mets.

"I am disappointed to announce that I will not be purchasing an ownership interest in the New York Mets baseball team at this time," he said. "It is clear that it will not be possible for me to consummate the transaction on the terms that the Sterling-Mets organization and I originally agreed to several months ago. The extensive nature of the changes that were proposed to me at the last minute has made a successful transaction impossible."

It is unclear what those changes were. Einhorn had reportedly already agreed to restructure part of the $200 million—originally planned as a loan—to satisfy the Mets' lenders. The original deal, in which Einhorn would get a chunk of the Mets for a loan that the team would have to repay within about five years or face having Einhorn take a majority stake in the team—was widely seen as a sweetheart deal for Einhorn; Mets owner Fred Wilpon said after the deal was struck that he regretted its terms.

Einhorn, who has been seen frequently around the Mets' home of Citi Field in recent months, said he would hold a conference call on the matter at 11:30 a.m.


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