AP source: MLB committee approves Mets sale to billionaire Steve Cohen

Members of the grounds crew close the field as the lights are turned down at Citi Field after the New York Mets and Miami Marlins walked before a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in New York. (John Minchillo / AP)

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The proposed purchase of 95% of the New York Mets by an entity of billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen has been approved by Major League Baseball's ownership committee, and final approval is likely to take place in the next month.

Approval by the committee was disclosed Tuesday by a person familiar with the decision who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made. Committee approval was first reported by Sportico.

Baseball's executive council will consider the deal next and is expected to forward it for a vote by all major league owners. The sale values the franchise at $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion.

The current Mets ownership group is headed by Fred Wilpon, brother-in-law Saul Katz and Wilpon's son Jeff, the team's chief operating officer. The Wilpon and Katz families would retain 5% of the team.

Cohen first bought into the Mets when the team sought $20 million in minority investment stakes following the collapse of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, which heavily cost the Wilpons and their companies. The limited partnership shares were sold after a proposed $200 million sale of a stake of the Mets to hedge fund manager David Einhorn fell through in 2011.

The 64-year-old Cohen is CEO and president of Point72 Asset Management.

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