OT - Mets Minority Owner Can Purchase Team for $1

Submitted by Marley Nowell on June 15th, 2011 at 7:29 PM

http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/news/story?id=6665618

If the majority owners of the Mets cannot pay back this investor's $200 million in 3 years he can purchase the rest of the team for $1.  Definitely a shrew business move.  I guess this was the only way the Wilpons could get a minority owner to agree to put up so much cash.

Comments

WolveJD

June 15th, 2011 at 7:47 PM ^

My guess is that there would be a fierce re-negotiation of that deal if that contingency ever came to fruition, of maybe even a lawsuit.  But if the Wilpons lost the Maddoff bankruptcy trustee case, all bets are off (as the article says).  One note:  Three years might not be enough time for a trial and all appeals to happen. 

It's fascinating that the Dodgers and Mets, two teams that I would think could print money given their markets and fanbases, are in such dire financial straits. 

03 Blue 07

June 15th, 2011 at 11:38 PM ^

Well, the legal bills alone would probably be at a minimum, $500k, for the minority owner to fight it and win. So you start at $500,001.00. And that's assuming there aren't issues of fact that we don't know about and/or the language of the contract can't be interpreted different ways. To take it all the way to trial and appeal, that bill could approach $3m if the minority owner hires attorneys of the caliber that one would think the Wilpons will. So...there's your number. Somewhere between 500k and 3mil (which are both estimates, obviously). Unless there's ALSO a clause in there that the loser pays the legal fees of the other, but I that's just pure speculation on my part.

twohooks

June 15th, 2011 at 7:56 PM ^

When someone won on Price Is Right by choosing a dollar and everybody overbids, I thought it was cheap. But now that I think of it I'd love to hear Johnny scream, "The New York Mets!!!" as the curtain draws. Has anyone ever been a studio guest on "Price Is Right," just wondering?

m1817

June 15th, 2011 at 9:55 PM ^

If the Wilpons have to sell the Mets for $1, it will reduce the amount of assets that Irving Picard will be able to collect from.  The $1 sale price is a poison pill incentive for Picard to settle for less than he is suing for. 

Jeff

June 15th, 2011 at 11:05 PM ^

That's an interesting point.  Since the trustee has been working for at least a year on all this (maybe more, I don't recall) there's a good chance that the case would have gotten through the initial trial but maybe not all the appeals.

If there is no settlement what would happen in that situation if the Wilpons did lose the appeals?  Presumably the initial damages would be based on them owning 66% of the Mets but then they lose all of that during the appeals process.  Would that be recalculated?

I'm basing this question on the assumption that the full amount of Madoff money is impossible to recover because the Wilpons would be forced to declare bankruptcy.  So the trustee is attempting to recover the maximum amount of money that is reasonable.  If this assumption is wrong, then my question might be meaningless.