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Deal is off for Mets to sell minority share of team to hedge fund manager David Einhorn
NEW YORK (AP) ' The sale of a minority stake in the cash-strapped New York Mets to hedge fund manager David Einhorn for $200 million has fallen through.
The sides were unable to complete the deal after months of negotiations, the team said in a statement Thursday. The Mets announced in May that Einhorn, president of Greenlight Capital Inc., would buy into the club.
Einhorn initially called the sale a win-win agreement, but said Thursday the original deal didn't hold up.
"The extensive nature of changes that were proposed to me at the last minute has made a successful transaction impossible," he said in a statement.
The Mets' ownership group, led by Fred Wilpon, has been stuck in a legal and financial mess stemming from investments with Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff. A court trustee trying to recover losses for victims of the scam has made a $1 billion claim against the Mets, with a federal court trial date set for next March in the case.
The Mets got a loan from Major League Baseball last November. The influx of money from Einhorn would have helped pay debts and cover operating expenses. MLB must approve such ownership deals.
"We are very confident in the team's plans ' both off and on the field," Wilpon said. "We will engage with other individuals, some who have been previously vetted by Major League Baseball, along with other interested parties, regarding a potential minority investment into the franchise. My partners and I thank David for his interest in considering this opportunity and wish him well in the future."