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Friday, February 25, 2011

New York Mets Approach Insolvency, Bankruptcy

Weeks after Crime, Politics and Policy first predicted that the New York Mets might declare bankruptcy as a result of its owners' potential $1 billion clawback liability from the Bernard Madoff fraud, press reports today state that Major League Baseball advanced the Mets $25 million in November 2010.

On a different note: Could the Mets' owners get indicted as a result of their possible complicity in the Madoff scam?

This private loan strongly indicates that conventional financing -- from banks or private investors -- was not available to the Mets, not on favorable terms, and very likely, not at all.

This revelation suggests that the Mets are currently facing a cash flow crisis and are near -- if not already  in a state of -- insolvency.   Bankruptcy often follows in such cases, and this is a likely option given the Mets' and affiliate cable network SNY's heavy debt load.

This revelation will further diminish the Mets' negotiating leverage on any sale of a minority stake of the franchise.  It grows likelier by the day that Mets' ownership will have to consider sellling a majority stake or even the entire franchise, possibly selling part or all of SNY, and making other drastic moves to fend off insolvency and bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, the value of the enterprises should already be in a free fall, and this should be continuing.  The Mets' death spiral has begun.

Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer specializing in analytical, strategic and investigative legal matters.  Mr. Dixon offers litigation counseling, litigation stress management and assertiveness training for people facing legal and other conflicts.  Mr. Dixon began his career as a corporate transactional lawyer drafting and negotiating major business agreements.  Mr. Dixon is available for further comment via email at edixon@NYBusinessCounsel.com.
 

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