May 26, 2011, 9:12 AM EDT
Multiple outlets are reporting this morning that the Mets have an agreement to sell 49% of the team to one David Einhorn of the hedge fund Greenlight Capital, Inc. for $200 million. The sale would not include a stake in SNY, it’s being reported. No word on what kind of managerial control, if any, Einhorn would have.
For those who care about such things, Einhorn is really young — he turns 43 this year — and is a serious poker player too. Colorful guy.
It’s also probably worth noting that Einhorn is in the news this week for much more significant business reasons: he, as one of the bigger shareholders in Microsoft, is calling for the company to fire its CEO Steve Ballmer. He’s also famous for being the guy who called B.S. on Lehman Brothers’ valuation and business practices well before anyone else did, and has made oodles shorting the stock of companies he feels are mismanaged. And he’s been pretty much vindicated in all of these assessments.
So: Einhorn is a guy who is not afraid to call for the head of management and he’s a guy who knows how to make a killing on a distressed asset. Yeah, I can totally see Einhorn agreeing to a deal in which he’s willing to sit back and let Fred Wilpon do everything he wants to do without any power to question, control or take over the course of the New York Mets. No question about it. It’s like, totally his M.O.
It may not be today and it may not be tomorrow, but I have this feeling that Fred Wilpon’s days as majority owner of the Mets are numbered.
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