Sports | September 15, 2020 8:48 am

Hedge Funder Steve Cohen Reaches $2.42 Billion Deal to Buy New York Mets

It’s the highest amount that’s ever been paid for a North American sports team

Mr Met riles up the crowd during a MLB game between at Citi Field in Flushing.
Mr Met riles up the crowd during a MLB game between at Citi Field in Flushing.
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Steve Cohen, a hedge fund billionaire from Long Island, has reached an agreement to buy the Mets in a deal that values the team at about $2.42 billion, according to Sportico.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cohen will own 95 percent of the team with the Katz and Wilpon families retaining the remaining 5 percent.

“I am excited to have reached an agreement with the Wilpon and Katz families to purchase the New York Mets,” Cohen said in a statement released by the team.

The $2.42 billion purchase price is the highest amount ever paid for a North American sports team, The New York Post reports.

In order for the sale to be completed, Cohen will be vetted by an MLB ownership subcommittee that will then make a recommendation to the larger group whether to accept the 64-year-old as an owner in the league.

In order to get the team, Cohen needs approval from 23 of the other 29 MLB owners, who will likely vote at their annual meeting in November. There are some red flags with Cohen, but owners may ignore them because the price he is willing to pay for the Mets will automatically make each one of their franchises worth more.

“The hedge fund billionaire is a polarizing figure and there are no certainties that he would garner the necessary votes,” according to The Post. “Cohen’s former hedge fund, SAC Capital, paid a $1.8 billion fine in 2013 to settle insider trading charges. His current company is being sued for gender discrimination. However, money often wins out.”

If the sale goes through Cohen, who has a net worth of $14.5 billion, will be the second-richest owner in American sports behind Steve Ballmer. Ballmer, who paid $2 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014, has a net worth of $69 billion, up $17.6 billion over the last year, according to Forbes.

Valued at $2.6 billion in February, the Clippers make up just 4 percent of Ballmer’s fortune.