Bill Maher invested in a minority stake in the New York Mets in 2012 that has since tripled in value now that Steve Cohen has bought the team from the Wilpon family for $2.4 billion, the New York Post reports.
Per the story, Maher invested into a group that put $20 million into the team at a $719 million valuation. Anthony Scaramucci, who had a brief stint as White House communications director under President Trump, also invested into one of these groups. These investments came when the Wilpons needed help keeping the franchise solvent in wake of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, and $20 million became about $60 million in the sale.
“Investing in the Wilpons got scary for a while there, so they’re thrilled to get paid out like this by one of their own,” a source familiar with the team’s financials told the Post. “The guys who bought in for $20 million are going to walk away very happy.”
It’s an open question how long the valuations of sports franchises will continue to escalate. For the time being, TV rights remain sky high. Even MLB, which has dwindled in national ratings, got bigger deals from FOX and AT&T in their rights extensions. Sports franchises are also in such scarce supply that they command a premium beyond their fundamental valuations because of the cachet that comes along with being an owner.