Are The Wilpons Going To Have To Sell More Of This Team?
I was reading this article last night, was just wondering some of your guys opinions are on it.
But the Mets are going to need additional money from somewhere. The $240 million they received from selling off minority stakes in the team back in March is already accounted for: at least $110 million to pay off a portion of what was a $430 million debt against the team due in 2014, $25 million back to M.L.B., $40 million to pay off a bridge loan from Bank of America that allowed the team to pay operating expenses last winter, at least $43.7 million in bond payments on Citi Field due in June and December, a revenue-sharing bill due to M.L.B. that totaled $20 million in 2011, $20 million in interest on a $450 million debt against S.N.Y. due in 2015, and at least $20 million in interest on the remaining $320 million or so in debt against the team.
Depending on the team's losses this season, that puts the end of the $240 million right around the December payment against Citi Field. And ownership still faces the very same cash crunches in 2013 on a money-losing team, interest against the large debts on the team and S.N.Y., and Citi Field debt payments as well.
That leaves Wilpon and his partners with few options: essentially, hope the debtholders give him more time, even if he cannot make a payment on even the interest on his debts, or find another source to loan him money to pay the financing on his already outstanding debts.
The chances of this happening were viewed as dim by the trustee for the Bernie Madoff victims, Irving Picard, back in March, leading him to settle the case for effectively nothing, rather than pursue his guaranteed floor of $83 million awarded to him in summary judgement prior to the trial date.
As Picard wrote in an affidavit filed at the time of the settlement: "Based upon financial information provided by Defendants since the [agreement], and on the advice of my counsel, we have become satisfied that Defendants' cash flow and lender covenants would not have enabled me to recover more for the BLMIS customer fund in the forseeable future by litigating to the point of judgment."
In other words, this wasn't an educated guess. This is the state of things according to Wilpon and his partners themselves, and fully verified by the trustee.
I know the Wilpons have other private business ventures they profit from outside the Mets but this paints a very dreary picture for their immediate future especially with that 320 million dollars due in June of 2014.
I understand they can try to convince the debt holders to roll the debt over but that would come at a significant interest rate hike.
My bottom line questions:
Are the Wilpons going to need to look into new partnerships to pay off this remaining debt?
Or is the inevitable ending here that the next commissioner will have to take the reigns from the Wilpons in 2015?