Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn’s $200 million deal with the New York Mets was put to bed, not by a change of the hedge fund manager’s mind, but by New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, or at least that is the assertion in a new book by Howard Megdal, ‘Wilpon’s Folly,’ reports FINAlternatives.
David Einhorn and the New York Mets agreed in May that Einhorn would provide the latter with a $200 million loan, in exchange for a piece of the team. Under the agreement, the Mets would have five years to repay the loan and, if they failed, would be required to sell a majority stake to Einhorn under the terms of the agreement. Wilpon seems to have regretted the deal and sought a way out. So, he asked Selig to kill the provision that would give Einhorn a path to majority ownership of the team. Einhorn caught word of Wilpon’s intentions and walked away from the deal.
“Wilpon asked Selig to strike the provision requiring him to enable and assist David Einhorn in his pursuit of majority ownership, if Wilpon couldn’t repay him,” wrote Howard Megdal in ‘Wilpon’s Folly.’ “The idea would be that Selig would play the bad cop. When Major League Baseball put the kibosh on Einhorn, Wilpon would have plausible deniability, and could throw up his hands and say, ‘What can I do? This is how MLB works.'”