Billionaires Steve Cohen and Josh Harris, a group led by Alex Rodriguez and a fourth unidentified party have all advanced to the second round of bidding for the New York Mets, people familiar with the matter told Sportico.
The groups were informed of their status by the investment bank Allen & Co., which is overseeing the sale process. They were also told not to submit offers on the team’s regional sports network, SNY, which is not part of the sale, said the people, who were granted anonymity because the matter is private.
The groups were told that representatives for Allen & Co. and the Mets would reach out soon to provide more detailed information on the franchise, the people said.
Cohen, a hedge fund titan, submitted a $2 billion bid in the opening round. He also reportedly bid $2 billion for the network.
First-round bids were non-binding, meaning prospective owners can alter their offers as the process moves along. At least five groups submitted opening bids for the team.
Allen & Co. declined to comment, as did spokespeople for Cohen, Harris and Rodriguez.
Cohen already owns an 8% stake in the team that’s controlled by the Wilpon and Katz families. Last year he was in talks to acquire up to an 80% stake, but talks broke down. That deal valued the club at $2.6 billion, but that was before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down major U.S. sports. Major League Baseball is scheduled to start its season later this month.
Harris, and Blackstone executive David Blitzer, own the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and hockey’s New Jersey Devils. Rodriguez, or A-Rod, is backed by Florida Panthers owner Vinnie Viola and Vitaminwater co-founder Mike Repole.
The team hopes to complete a sale by the end of the year.