It looks like the New York Mets are worth even less than even some of their most long-suffering fans might think — and are in the financial minors compared with their Subway Series rivals.
Owner Fred Wilpon is poised to enlarge his majority Mets stake in a deal that values the struggling team at roughly $1.5 billion, The Post has learned.
That’s considerably less than the $2.1 billion valuation that Forbes pegged on the Amazin’ s last spring — and less than half the $4 billion price tag that the Yankees would presumably fetch, according to the magazine.
Under the deal, Wilpon’s investment firm Sterling Equities has agreed to pay roughly $180 million to buy back about a 12 percent stake in the Amazin’ s from cable giants Comcast and Charter Communications, owner of the Spectrum network, sources close to the situation said.
Comcast and Charter — which acquired the stake in 2012 from the Wilpons, when the family was scrambling to raise cash after losing a fortune on the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme — have been trying to unload the stake since last summer, sources said.
A major stumbling block, according to some sources, has been the likelihood that Fred Wilpon will pass control of the team to his son Jeff, who as the team’s operating chief has been blasted by critics as meddlesome and tightfisted.
The cable companies finally found a suitor willing to buy the stake at a valuation that was considerably lower than Wilpon thought the team was worth, so Wilpon’s Sterling exercised its right to match the offer, according to a source. The identity of the suitor couldn’t immediately be learned.