UPDATE: The New York Times confirms Adam Rubin’s report and adds that the deal being discussed between Einhorn and the Mets does not include SNY, which is the team’s television network. Einhorn didn’t say much during the conference call Thursday, but was adamant that he had “no interest” in owning a television station.
9:30 AM: Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that David Einhorn does indeed have a path to majority ownership with the Mets. Of course, that was the assumption all along, as it wouldn’t make much sense if he didn’t have that option, but the exact terms of the deal are a doozy.
Einhorn has agreed in principal to purchase roughly 33 percent of the team for $200 million, which will infuse cash and keep the organization solvent in the immediate future. In three years, according to the source, Einhorn has an option to up his stake to 60 percent, although principal owner Fred Wilpon and his family have an opportunity to block Einhorn from gaining that majority stake.
The source said the Wilpons can stop Einhorn from gaining the majority share essentially by returning Einhorn’s initial $200 million investment yet allowing him to keep the 33 percent share of the team.
So, basically, in three years either Einhorn will either have majority control of the Mets or get his initial $200 million investment back and still keep one-third of the team. Kind of makes you wish you had $200 million sitting around, right? Not only is this the best deal you’ll see this week (year?), but it also tells you how hard-up the Wilpons are for cash right now.