By Joe Pantorno
Allen & Co., the investment bank leading the Wilpon family’s search to sell the New York Mets, has set a July 9 deadline for the interested parties to submit their bid, according to Fox Business’ Charles Gasparino.
On Tuesday, seven suitors who were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements were pre-approved by Major League Baseball as qualified bidders.
The most notable name in Gasparino’s report is billionaire hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen, who unsuccessfully tried to buy an 80% stake in the team for $2.6 billion earlier this year.
His interest in the club since the February abandonment of negotiations has been uncertain in recent weeks, with sources close to the situation previously telling amNewYork Metro that he would be hesitant to re-enter negotiations with the Wilpon family.
Gasparino confirmed those initial reports from last month, saying the 64-year-old Long Island native who grew up a Mets fan and is an 8% minority owner is practicing “extreme caution… since he feels burned by the Wilpons earlier in the year.”
“He is said to be keeping a close eye on who comes in and for how much before making his move,” Gasparino added.
Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez lead one group that is also believed to have Vitaminwater founder Michael Repole within its ranks, too.
The former All-Star Rodriguez grew up a Mets fan in Florida and has often told stories of his idolization of first baseman Keith Hernandez. His fiancee, Lopez, grew up in the Bronx.
Repole is a well-known Mets fan who has named some of the racehorses that he owns after prominent players.
Another known bidding group is Joshua Harris and David Blitzer of Harris and Blitzer Entertainment. The duo already owns the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, the English Premier League’s Crystal Palace, and recently bought a minority stake in the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers.
According to Gasparino, it remains to be seen if Reuben brothers David and Simon are going to make a play for the Mets despite earlier reports that the London real-estate moguls were in. The two were reportedly interested in developing the land around Citi Field in Queens.