Sunday, September 4, 2011

New York Mets and David Einhorn end investment talks

Famous US baseball team the New York Mets have ended talks with hedge fund manager David Einhorn about a possible funding of $200m (£124m) in the club.

Mr Einhorn, of Greenlight Capital fund, said the Mets had imposed changes which would have made any deal to give him a minority stake in the team impossible.

The club said an exclusivity period of negotiations with Mr Einhorn had expired and would not be extended.

The Mets faces a $1bn lawsuit connected to the Bernard Madoff Ponzi-scandal.

New stadium

Irving Picard, the trustee seeking money for victims of Madoff's fraudulent scheme, wants $300m from the Mets owners' investments with Madoff.

He is seeking a further $700m from the alleged failure of Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and other Mets executives to recognize Madoff's fraud.

The lawsuit comes on top of ongoing financial problems at the Mets, despite moving to a new upmarket stadium, Citi Field, in 2009.

However, attendance have fallen and the team has been losing tens of millions of dollars a year.

"A week ago, I thought this deal was in great shape and thought it would close very soon," Mr Einhorn said.

The 42-year-old added: "We are finished here, we are done with this transaction."

Mr Einhorn, whose hedge fund firm oversees about $7.8bn in investments, is a long-time fan of the Mets, who won the World Series in 1969 and 1986.

"We are very confident in the team's plans - both off and on the field," said the Mets' Fred Wilpon in a statement.

"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."