David and Simon Reuben, who amassed a fortune investing in real estate, technology companies and leisure, are exploring a bid for the New York Mets, people familiar with the matter told Sportico.
The brothers, who were born in India and moved to London as teenagers, have a combined net worth of about $14 billion — built on one of the largest portfolios of retail, office and residential properties.
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The brothers are likely drawn to the team because of the real estate development possibilities around Citi Field, said one of the people, who was granted anonymity because the matter is private.
The Mets have retained Allen & Co. to oversee the sale process. Allen & Co. declined to comment. An email sent to Reuben Brothers in London wasn’t immediately returned.
The brothers join a growing list of potential bidders for the Mets, who in December said they were in talks to sell up to 80% of the Major League Baseball team to hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen in a deal that valued the club at $2.6 billion. That deal fell apart.
Other possible bidders include billionaire Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris and former big-league star Alex Rodriguez, whose backers include Florida Panthers owner Vinnie Viola and billionaire Mike Repole.
The Reuben brothers have also been mentioned as part of a group that’s engaged in talks to buy English Premier League team Newcastle United.
The Wilpons took control of the Mets in 2002 at a valuation of about $391 million.
The Mets lose at least $50 million annually, even before the Coronavirus delayed the start of the regular season. MLB plans to stage about a 60-game season, down from the usual 162, that will begin in late July. First, however, MLB needs the players to approve health-and-safety protocols and to signal their ability to begin training by July 1.
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