The superstar couple may have identified one of them in Quogue Capital founder Wayne Rothbaum, who is in talks with the engaged former baseball star and his recording artist and actor fiancé about joining their bid group, a person familiar with the matter told Sportico.
Rothbaum, who three years ago unsuccessfully bid on the Miami Marlins — which were eventually sold to a group that included Rodriguez’s former New York Yankees teammate, Derek Jeter — didn’t respond to requests for comment.
The person was granted anonymity because the matter is private.
A-Rod, as the ex-baseball star is known, also approached another Marlins bidder, Jorge Mas, about joining the bid group. Mas, who controls Miami’s Major League Soccer team, declined, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Rothbaum has been a biotech investor for nearly 30 years. He founded New York-based Quogue in 2002.
Rothbaum has submitted an application to Major League Baseball, the person said, adding that his preference would be to serve as an investor in the team and not the controlling partner.
Talks between Rothbaum, A-Rod and J-Lo, as the superstar performer is known, began prior to any disruption caused by the coronavirus, the person said. All of the major U.S. sports leagues are on hold because of the virus.
A-Rod and J-Lo are working with JPMorgan to raise capital for their bid, Sportico reported yesterday. A spokeswoman for JPMorgan declined to comment.
The Wilpon family, which owns the Mets, said in December they were in talks to sell up to 80% of the club to hedge fund titan Steve Cohen, who grew up a Mets fan on Long Island, in a deal that valued the team at $2.6 billion. Under terms of that agreement the Wilpons would’ve maintained control of the franchise for five years. Those talks ended after Cohen, who has an 8% stake in the Mets, attempted to alter the terms.
The Mets have retained Allen & Co. to oversee the sale process, which has been slowed by the virus.
The Wilpons assumed control of the franchise in 2002 at a valuation of $391 million. The team loses at least $50 million a year.
It’s difficult to pinpoint what the long-term ramifications of the virus-related shutdown will mean for the values of sports franchises. All of the leagues are weighing several options aims at salvaging some portion of their seasons.
Scott Soshnick is the editor-in-chief of Sportico, Penske Media’s new sports business platform.