April 20, 2024

DealBook: Hedge Fund Chief Said to Be in Talks for Mets Stake

9:56 a.m. | Updated
David Einhorn, the hedge fund manager, is in exclusive negotiations to buy a minority stake in the New York Mets baseball team for $200 million.

“We are very excited about David joining our ownership group for several reasons,” said Fred Wilpon, chief executive of New York Mets. “David’s investment immediately improves the franchise’s financial position. Equally important, David’s intelligence, integrity and success in both business and civic affairs provides us with another perspective in evaluating what is best for this organization and our fans, and we welcome his input. In partnership with David, we look forward to achieving our ultimate goal of again becoming World Series champions.”

Mr. Einhorn, who founded Greenlight Capital in 1996, is a closely followed figure on Wall Street. Known making bold statements about companies he feels are headed for disaster, Mr. Einhorn has garnered both awe and ire from investors and law enforcement. In 2008, he publicly skewered the Lehman Brothers for accounting irregularities, just months before the bank declared bankruptcy.

In 2008, Mr. Einhorn wrote a book, “Fooling Some of the People All of the Time,” about his public feud with Allied Capital, another company whose accounting practices he publicly questioned.

He grew up in New Jersey and Milwaukee. (Dealbreaker has a photo of the seven-year-old Mr. Einhorn in Mets cap and jersey.)

Mr. Einhorn said on Thursday: “Having an opportunity to become part of the Mets franchise is exciting beyond my wildest childhood dreams. I spent my first seven years living in New Jersey and rooting for the Mets. In 1975, I even dressed in a homemade jersey as a Met for Halloween. I have been a baseball fan for my entire life and have enjoyed teaching the game as the coach of my daughter’s little league team. I look forward to partnering with the Wilpon and Katz families through the good seasons, the tough seasons and especially the championship seasons.”

After the end of his presentation at the Ira Sohn investment conference Wednesday, Mr. Einhorn left the podium only to suddenly return.

He told the audience of roughly 2,000 that he had forgotten something. “Go Mets,” he yelled with a smirk.

The Wilpon family, which owns the Mets, has been under pressure to find an investor since the trustee seeking funds for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s huge Ponzi scheme sued family members.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=5d1567d42168c0618f94086531f48092

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