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Mets finalize sale of team to Steve Cohen

The Mets’ ownership change became official on Friday, as Steve Cohen closed his record $2.4 billion deal to purchase the team from Sterling Equities.

Cohen intends to hold a virtual press conference on Tuesday to discuss the deal and his plans for the team.

“This is a significant milestone in the history of this storied franchise,” Cohen said in a statement. “I want to thank everybody who helped make this happen. The 2021 season is right around the corner and we’ve got a lot of work to do, so I’m excited to get started. Let’s go Mets!”

The closing of the sale was a formality following months of work. Cohen signed an agreement to buy the Mets in September, then received approval from both Major League Baseball’s owners and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio last week.

Cohen, 64, is a hedge fund manager and lifelong Mets fan who had already owned an 8 percent stake in the team. He attempted to purchase a majority share of the Mets last November, but negotiations fell apart. In that deal, the Wilpons would have retained operating control of the Mets for five years.

Sterling Equities subsequently put the club up for auction before re-entering negotiations with Cohen this summer. The resulting $2.4 billion-plus sale valuation topped the $2.35 billion valuation of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, partially sold last year. The NFL’s Carolina Panthers sold for $2.275 billion in 2018.

Now that the deal is official, Cohen can attack his first offseason at the helm of the Mets. He has already announced plans to hire former Mets general manager Sandy Alderson as team president, replacing Jeff Wilpon in that role. Alderson, in turn, must name a GM to serve beneath him. As of Friday, incumbent GM Brodie Van Wagenen’s future was unclear.