Steve Cohen has not given up buying the Mets, but sources close to the situation say he wants the team's majority stake in the SNY cable network to warrant a new offer near the Wilpons $ 3 billion valuation.
It remains unclear whether the Wilpons are interested in selling SNY or looking at Cohen a second time.
In cooperation with Spectrum and Comcast, the Wilpons own 65 percent of the cable network. Banks report to The Post that the network has a value of between $ 850 and $ 1 billion and gross profit of nearly $ 150 million a year. Given that the Mets lose $ 50 million in an average year, the network would be extremely useful every time the organization was sold.
"Cohen wants SNY and he wants it at fair value," said a banker who is familiar with the deal. "The team loses $ 50 million a year in a good year, so they want SNY's revenue and they may pay a small premium to never have to deal with Fred and Jeff." [Wilpon] again and again. "
After spurning the Cohen's Wilpons at the altar when the Mets sales contract collapsed earlier this month, they continue to plan to sell the Mets at an auction conducted by the team's longtime investment banker Allen & Co.'s attempt to determine How far they are in this process leads to a cloudy picture. The displeasure of the Wilpons with Cohen and the beating they took from the fans after the deal's failure failed to leave very sour feelings.
"They clearly don't want to sell to Steve Cohen," said a former Mets employee. "But who will almost pay what he wants?"
According to people who know Cohen's perspective, he isn't enthusiastic about the idea of renegotiating with the Wilpons, thanks to grappling with the notorious five-year clause that would have kept the Wilpons in control of Mets The majority of Cohen's checks in year 1. Because of this catastrophe and what Cohen saw when he looked closely at the Mets' balance sheet, sources say his bid may not be much higher than the $ 2.6 billion he offered without the SNY and with that has five-year windows available. These sources also tell The Post that Cohen is increasingly certain that no bid will come close, even when SNY is in the mix.
A Wednesday report from The Athletic mentioned the possibility that the Wilpons are increasingly open to parting with SNY, but also cited several reports claiming that the mere $ 13 billion specter of Cohen's interest is many has kept other billionaires on the edge. But fear of Cohen could halt the Mets sale indefinitely, as the hedge fund mogul is waiting for other bidders to show up and give him the leverage to make a better offer, leaving the Wilpons with no choice but to to sell to him.
"He is definitely still out there," said one person who was following the process as well as Cohen. "But if it's nobody else [ready to show interest] because they are afraid that he will blow out their offer, this thing could last forever. "
The Mets declined to comment, referring The Post to a quote from Jeff Wilpon earlier this month confirming the team will push a sale, but cannot discuss what happened to Cohen due to a nondisclosure agreement. Cohen's spokesman also declined to comment.