Via Newsday -
The Mets expect to sell 10 minority shares of the team by the end of February, a person familiar with the process said Monday. The units, priced at $20 million each, would raise $200 million for the cash-strapped franchise and be used to pay existing loans and operating expenses for 2012.
It previously was believed that the Mets would close on a minimum of four units by the end of January. No reason was given for the new timetable or whether the closings would take place at the same time. None of the potential investors has been revealed. Major League Baseball has been involved in vetting the partial owners.
Earlier this month, principal owner Fred Wilpon expressed optimism about the process, but the Mets Monday had no comment on when the new investors will be in place.
Initial proceeds of the sales, those involved in the transaction have said, are earmarked to pay a $25-million loan the Mets obtained from MLB in November 2010 and a $40-million bridge loan from the Bank of America in the last quarter of 2011. The concept of selling up to 40 percent in smaller shares came after negotiations with hedge fund manager David Einhorn broke down last September over control issues.
General manager Sandy Alderson said the team lost $70 million in the 2011 season. It recently hired CRG Partners, a bankruptcy and financial turnaround consulting firm, to assist in fiscal matters. The team has said it will not seek bankruptcy proceedings.
At this point, the Mets should just have a Lotto thing…sell 400,000 chances at $500 each and then pull a winning ticket from the bunch. If your ticket comes up, then you own 40% of the team. It may be the best way for them to get the $200 million that they need…
…and, yes, I am joking…sorta/kinda.