Recap: Einhorn talks Mets investment on conf. call

This morning, the Mets said they selected David Einhorn as the team’s preferred partner and that the two sides have entered into exclusive negotiations with respect to a minority, non-operating investment in the team for $200 million.

Einhorn talked with reporters on a conference call today and basically said:

  • He would not answer questions about the specific details of this potential partnership, nor would he discuss anything related to Bernie Madoff.
  • This is a personal investment and has nothing to do with his hedge fund.
  • His investment in the Mets is subject to further documentation, though he hopes it will get done by the end of June.
  • Fred Wilpon will remain the majority owner and no change in management will occur. “Sandy Alderson strikes me and a first-rate executive… I think he’s fantastic. As long as we stay under his leadership and management the Mets will end up in a good direction.”
  • He is optimistic that the team’s financial position will improve over time.
  • He’s been a baseball fan his entire life and he’s excited for the opportunity to own a piece of the Mets.
  • The reason his name didn’t appear in the news in connection to the Mets is because: “We didn’t tell anybody.”
  • He hit off with Fred Wilpon from the first time they met, which was at the start of this ‘process.’ He would not speculate on why Wilpon chose him, instead saying it might make more sense to ask Wilpon if reporters feel such an answer is necessary.
  • SNY was not part of the negotiation, ‘It was never of interest to me.’
  • He and the team felt it made sense to make a public announcement now, even though the deal is not complete, because a) they’re exclusive, and b) other lawyers, banks, etc., will get involved and, for fear of leaks, it made more sense to ‘share the news today.’
  • “I think the Wilpons are the control holders of the team. I’m just looking forward to the overall experience this investment will lead to.”
  • His hedge fund, Greenlight Capital, does not own any of the bonds that were used to build Citi Field. He repeatedly pointed out that this is a ‘personal investment’ not a ‘professional investment,’ he has no plans to sell his stake any time soon and he hopes to be involved with the team for a long time.
  • Lastly, he ‘held on to being a Mets fan’ for a while after moving to Milwaukee, but eventually he was ‘won over’ by the Brewers. As a kid, he and his friends used to play baseball next to Bud Selig’s house.

Original Post at 10:30 am:

By the way, for what it’s worth, I’ve been told Einhorn was a Mets fan while growing up in New Jersey, but then switched to rooting for the Brewers after moving to Milwaukee as a kid. Most importantly, he hated the Yankees.