What appeared to be a done deal a few months ago wound up taking far longer than expected, and now the ongoing investment/minority partnership discussions are apparently kaput.
Fred Wilpon & Co. are still in federal court trying to fend off Irving Picard and his clawback lawsuit on behalf of the bilkees of Bernie Madoff's now-legendary Ponzi scheme, but they have released a statement regarding the Einhorn talks:
The New York Mets’ Owners announced today that their period of exclusive negotiations with David Einhorn regarding a minority, non-operating interest in the Mets has expired and Ownership has decided not to extend the exclusive negotiating period any further. After months of negotiation, the parties were unable to reach agreement, and Mets Ownership has decided to explore other options.
Ownership has provided additional capital to cover all 2011 losses and is moving forward with the necessary resources to continue to operate the franchise. Ownership will explore other strategic transactions and is under no financial pressure to do a deal on any particular schedule.
"We are very confident in the team’s plans – both off and on the field," said Mets Chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon. "We will engage with other individuals, some who have been previously vetted by Major League Baseball, along with other interested parties, regarding a potential minority investment into the franchise. My partners and I thank David for his interest in considering this opportunity and wish him well in the future."