Mets Owners Seeking Addition Of One Or More Minority Investors
The Mets announced Friday that owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon are actively considering the addition of "one or more" minority investors to the club and have retained Allen & Co. Managing Dir Steve Greenberg, already a Mets board member, as an advisor in the process. The Wilpons said they intend to remain majority owners and day-to-day operators of the club. But the search for additional funds is designed in part "to provide additional assurance that the New York Mets will continue to have the necessary resources to fully compete and win," according to the Mets' statement. "It is prudent and reasonable to explore our options," said Fred Wilpon this afternoon. "This is the right thing to do from a business perspective."
The Wilpons, and by extension the Mets, have long been rumored to have been hamstrung financially by their unwitting involvement in the Bernie Madoff financial scandal, rumors Fred Wilpon last fall insisted were dramatically overstated. And club officials over the past two years have vigorously denied repeated claims and questions that they would be forced to sell equity in the team.
But the Mets have barely been part of a vigorous offseason MLB free agent market that has surpassed $1B thus far in future salary commitments, and have seen attendance at Citi Field decline sharply in the wake of a four-year slide that has included two sub.-500 finishes and two September on-field collapses.
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