Due to the ongoing concern and uncertainty of the situation, the Mets released a statement today that they are considering options like bringing on a financial only partner.
“However, to address the air of uncertainty created by this lawsuit, and to provide additional assurance that the New York Mets will continue to have the necessary resources to fully compete and win, we are looking at a number of potential options including the addition of one or more strategic partners. To explore this, we have retained Steve Greenberg, a Managing Director at Allen & Company, as our advisor.“- Fred Wilpon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Mets, and Jeff Wilpon, Chief Operating Officer of the New York Mets
During todays conference call, both Jeff and Fred Wilpon made it clear, no matter what they do, they will still be the principle owners of the Mets, and nothing they do will have any effect on the on field issues facing the New York Mets. Yet he does not limit the options to just giving someone a 20-25% stake in the Mets.
“I don’t say that we’re not going to take on a partner, but there are other options out there that we’re going to explore. So we’ll take on whatever we think we should do in the best economic interest of the ballclub. So it could be a partner, it could be some other kind of mechanism to recapitalize a little bit.”- Mets COO Jeff Wilpon
So how much money are we dealing with? According to The New York Times,”The lawsuit seeks to recover not only $300 million in what the trustee, Irving H. Picard, calls “fictitious profits” — the difference between what the Wilpon and Katz entities put into Madoff’s investment firm and what they took out over their many years of investing — but also additional millions, according to the two lawyers, who would not be identified because of the secrecy surrounding the case.”
The New York Mets were appraised to be worth $858 million dollars by Forbes magazine in 2010. A source quoted by the New York Times is skeptical the Wilpons will be able to stay as principle owners if they lose the trial.
“I think [Fred Wilpon] has a very serious problem,” the newspaper quoted the source. “If that’s true, he might have to sell the Mets.”
The Wilpons also stressed that the Major League Baseball Commissioners office have not put any pressure on the Wilpons to think of adding a partner. Yet, according to another New York Times source, the Mets have requested a meeting with Commissioner Bud Selig next week to inform him to the full extent of the Madoff situation and how it will affect the New York Mets.