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MLB owners approve sale of New York Mets to Steve Cohen

Longtime New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon (C) and his family, along with the Katz family, will retain 5% of the team after the sale. File Photo by Peter Foley/UPI
Longtime New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon (C) and his family, along with the Katz family, will retain 5% of the team after the sale. File Photo by Peter Foley/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 30 (UPI) -- MLB owners voted to approve the sale of the New York Mets to billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen, the league announced Friday.

The proposed purchase of 95% of the Mets by Cohen received the necessary 75% of the vote needed to complete the sale. The transaction also required approval from New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, who had the final say because the team's Citi Field resides on city property.

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On Friday, de Blasio said the New York City Law Department completed its review of the pending sale and had no objections.

"New York City has no objections and the Mets can now proceed with the transaction," he tweeted.

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Since 2002, the Mets' ownership group was headed by Fred Wilpon, his brother-in-law Saul Katz and Wilpon's son, Jeff, who was the team's chief operating officer. The Wilpon and Katz families will retain 5% of the team following the sale, which is expected to be finalized within the next two weeks.

The sale values the Mets franchise at $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion.

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"On behalf of the Wilpon and Katz families, we are very pleased with the result of today's ownership vote," Wilpon said in a statement Friday. "We'd like to thank [MLB] commissioner [Rob] Manfred for his leadership and guidance through this process. It has been a privilege and honor for our families to have been a part of this great franchise for the past 40 years.

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"We would like to express our deep appreciation for our loyal and passionate fans, who have consistently supported this organization through the years. We'd also like to thank the many great players, managers, coaches and dedicated employees with whom we've been privileged to work with through the years, for their commitment to the interests of our organization, our industry and our community."

Cohen, 64, is president and CEO of Point72 Asset Management. A native of Long Island, N.Y., he grew up a Mets fan and is expected to invest heavily in the club to push them into contention.

In August, Cohen entered into exclusive negotiations to buy the franchise. A month later, Cohen and the Wilpon and Katz families signed an agreement for him to purchase the team, pending the approval of MLB owners.

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