Mets may add ownership partners
By Sports Network
FLUSHING, N.Y. -- The New York Mets announced Friday they may add one or more partners as the team's principal ownership group, Sterling Equities, deals with a lawsuit tied to the Bernie Madoff scandal.
The statement -- issued by Fred Wilpon, the Mets' chairman and CEO, and Jeff Wilpon, the team's COO -- said the team is looking at several options in order to "address the air of uncertainty created by this lawsuit," as well as to assure the Mets "will continue to have the necessary resources to fully compete and win."
One of those options is to add ownership partners, and the team has retained Steve Greenberg, a managing director at investment firm Allen & Company, as an advisor. Greenberg is a former deputy commissioner for Major League Baseball and represented the Wilpons in the acquisition of the Mets.
The suit was brought against Sterling Equities, chaired by Fred Wilpon, and other Sterling partners by the trustee trying to recover money for victims of Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
The New York Daily News reported in December, citing court documents, that Wilpon and Sterling made a profit of about $48 million from Madoff's fraudulent investment firm. A federal judge has appointed a trustee, Irving Picard, to recover funds from the scam, though it's not clear how a lawsuit settlement will affect the Mets' finances.
Sterling has had an ownership interest in the Mets since 1980, and gained full ownership in 2002.