(Bloomberg) -- Former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and actress Jennifer Lopez are behind a group that has offered about $1.7 billion to buy Major League Baseball’s Mets, the New York Post reported, citing people it didn’t identify.
Billionaire hedge fund titan Steve Cohen has bid $2 billion for the team and has told the Mets’ owners he would pay $2 billion for SportsNet New York, the team’s regional sports network venture with partners, Charles Gasparino of Fox Business Network said in a Twitter post late Thursday, without saying where he got the information.
Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon would prefer to sell team to the Rodriguez group if their offer is close to the best bid at the end of auction, the New York Post reported. Cohen has also made an offer and the team had set Thursday a deadline for suitors, the newspaper said.
A previous Cohen offer that valued the team at $2.6 billion -- a Major League record at the time -- fell through in February amid disagreements over the role of the Wilpon family, which controls the team, after the transaction.
An email message to Cohen seeking comment outside normal business hours wasn’t immediately returned.
Cohen, a lifelong Mets fan with a net worth of $10.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, would be buying a team that as of earlier this year was assuming annual losses of at least $50 million, a person familiar with the matter said at the time. In February, Cohen said he looked forward to a higher bid as he already owned 8% of the team.
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Unlike baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, whose new owners were immediately able to sell local broadcast rights upon buying the team in 2012, no such opportunity exists for whoever takes over the Mets, whose rights are locked up for another decade.
(Updates with new Cohen bid report in second paragraph)
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