Thursday, October 1, 2020
UK

Third potential buyer for Mets surfaces

Mets surfaces

The Reuben brothers have built their empire through a series of real estate endeavours, tech investments and retail over in the United Kingdom

As Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez bolster their group to bid on the Mets and a group led by the owners of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils also eyes a bid, a third potential buyer for the Mets appears to have surfaced. Scott Soshnick of Variety reports that brothers David and Simon Reuben, whose combined estimated worth is a whopping $14 billion, are now “exploring” a bid. Real estate opportunities in the area surrounding Citi Field are likely a driving factor in the interest, per the report.

The Reuben brothers, both in their mid- to late-70s, have built their empire through a series of real estate endeavours, investments in tech companies and in retail over in the United Kingdom. David Hellier and Natalie Wong of Bloomberg reported less than two months ago that the Reubens purchased a retail condo near Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center as they looked to expand their enterprise to New York, and a bid for the Mets would seemingly align with that interest. They’ve also expanded their residential real estate efforts into Madrid (via Bloomberg) and expressed interest in purchasing a stake in an English Premier League club.

With the Wilpon family reportedly looking to complete a sale of the team — but, according to Newsday, not the SNY Network — by year’s end, we’ve seen increased interest surfacing over the past month. Of course, the Mets believed they were already on the cusp of a gradual, five-year sale to billionaire Steve Cohen last December. At the time of the agreement, Cohen would’ve taken over an 80 percent stake of the club by 2025. However, that deal crumbled in February and left the Wilpons seeking a new buyer.

The economic downturn brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic complicates matters and will significantly cut the valuation of the franchise, but the extent isn’t yet known — nor is the level of bid which any of three potential buyers is planning. The two most recent sales of MLB clubs, the Royals in 2019 ($1 billion) and the Marlins in 2017 ($1.2 billion) both illustrate the demand for franchises, though. And as with the Marlins’ sale, it’s possible that several permutations of ownership groups headed by the same principal figures could come together and fizzle thereafter before a deal is ultimately agreed upon.

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