The bidders vying for the Major League Baseball franchise have until Aug. 31 to submit their best-and-final offers for the team controlled by the Katz and Wilpon families.
Allen & Co., which is overseeing the sale process, made the deadline known to bidders tonight in an emailed letter, a copy of which was reviewed by Sportico.
“We look forward to receiving your final offer,” the letter said.
Allen & Co. asked for several items in the letter, including each group’s sources of financing and a list of members in their bid group. Allen & Co. declined to comment.
A deal would be the culmination of a sale process that began in December, when the Mets said they were in talks to sell up to 80% of the club to hedge fund titan Steve Cohen, who is already an investor in the team.
Besides Cohen, the others bidders are a group led by Apollo Global Management co-founder Josh Harris, and another led by former big-league star Alex Rodriguez, whose backers include Florida Panthers owner Vinnie Viola and Vitaminwater Co-founder Mike Repole.
Harris and Blackstone executive David Blitzer have a sports portfolio that includes the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, NHL’s New Jersey Devils and their arena, the Prudential Center, as well as the English Premier League team Crystal Palace.
Cohen’s previous talks valued the club at $2.6 billion, but they occurred prior to the COVID-19 interruption of sports. MLB is staging a shortened, 60-game season without fans, robbing teams of the revenue associated with items including tickets, parking, concessions and merchandise sales.
Even before the pandemic, the Mets lost at least $50 million a year.
Initial bids, which were non-binding, came in around $2 billion.
Cohen’s previous talks broke down over a clause that would’ve allowed the Wilpons to retain control of the team for five years. This time, the buyer would assume control when the transaction closes.
Any sale would require approval from at least 23 MLB owners.