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Mets Near Deal to Sell Stake to Hedge-Fund Manager

Thursday, May 26, 2011

WNYC

The cash-strapped owners of the New York Mets have agreed to sell a minority share of the team to hedge fund manager David Einhorn for $200 million in what could be considered a match between the winners and the losers of the financial crisis.

Einhorn is perhaps most famous for his bet against Lehman Brothers: he started shorting the stock before the investment bank collapsed in the fall of 2008. Now the president of Greenlight Capital, is going long, or betting the value will rise, on an entirely different animal: a major league baseball team.

"Having an opportunity to become part of the Mets franchise is exciting beyond my wildest childhood dreams," Einhorn said in a statement released by the Mets. "I look forward to partnering with the Wilpon and Katz families through the good seasons, the tough seasons and especially the championship seasons."

The deal — still needs Major League Baseball's approval — would allow the Mets owners to retain control of the team, and help pay debts and operating expenses.

The Mets owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, face a multimillion dollar lawsuit filed by a court trustee seeking to recover money for victims of the Madoff Ponzi scheme, which was exposed as markets tumbled two and a half years ago.

Disclosure note: David Einhorn's wife, Cheryl Einhorn, is a paid consultant for WNYC

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