With the market to buy a chilling baseball team, are the Mets looking to turn the heat down?
Sportico reported on Tuesday that owners of the Mets, who have been shopping their team for a long time (and announced plans to sell to hedge fund mogul Steve Cohen before these talks collapsed), are trying to extend the term of a large loan that is coming due soon. A $ 250 million loan led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. is set to expire in late July, according to the report, and the Mets – owned by Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz – would like to delay that for a full year.
Pushing back the loan end date would give the Mets more time to stay afloat by metaphorically letting the air out of the pressure cooker of debt that became the franchise’s financial position thanks to the baseball coronavirus shutdown. , whose return has been inhibited by the tension between owners and players. Of the parties that have shown interest in buying the Mets, although far from the $ 2.6 billion price Cohen agreed to pay (and that didn’t even include the Mets SNY regional sports network) before that these negotiations do not collapse, are found Devils and 76ers primary owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer and three times MVP Alex Rodriguez and his fiancee, Jennifer Lopez.
“It’s from the Wilpons,” a source close to the Mets said of the kick-the-can tactic. “They need to have some time on their side, and that gives them some in case they get some income this year.”
A banker familiar with baseball agrees, saying, “That tells me the Wilpons aren’t expecting a sale anytime soon. Harris and Blitzer are bottom eaters and would happily leave this auction. It’s the last thing the Wilpons want, so they’re buying time.
But the question remains whether JPMorgan Chase is selling time.
As The Post reported weeks ago, some big names at America’s biggest bank are working directly with J-Rod in an attempt to become the Queen and King of Queens. If the Wilpons wanted to extend the terms of their credit facility, they would likely have to ask a favor from some of the same lines of business run by the Chase executives who are currently working with Lopez and Rodriguez.