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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

1-800-Flowers exec is a Mets invester-NY Times

The Wilpon and Katz families purchased three of the 12 limited shares. "Bit by bit, the investors in the Mets are becoming known.

James F. McCann, the chairman of 1-800-Flowers.com, told The New York Post that he owns one of the 12 limited shares in the Mets. Each share — a 4 percent piece of the Mets — costs $20 million. McCann owns the majority of the share, but his partners include Anthony Scaramucci, a managing partner of SkyBridge Capital, a hedge fund.

McCann told The Post: “I felt it was a reasonable investment, but growing up a lifelong Mets fan, this was more about being able to do something fun and interesting for me and my family.”

McCann is one of a group of old friends of Fred Wilpon, the Mets’ principal owner, who regularly visits during spring training at Port St. Lucie, Fla. His company is also a Citi Field sponsor.

According to company documents, McCann’s compensation at 1-800-Flowers for the 2011 fiscal year ended July 3, 2011, was $2.75 million. The company had revenue of $689.8 million and net income of $5.7 million. In the previous two years, the company lost $4.2 million and $98.4 million.

McCann, who is from Rockaway, Queens, was part of a group with Scaramucci that had voiced interest in paying $200 million for about one-third of the team. The hedge-fund manager David Einhorn entered negotiations to wrap up his bid, but the deal eventually fell apart.

The Mets then decided to sell $240 million through a dozen limited partnerships, deals they said they closed on in March, shortly before Wilpon and the Mets co-owner Saul Katz settled the case filed against them by the trustee for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

Earlier this month, the comedian Bill Maher revealed that he was part of a group that purchased a $20 million share in the team but wouldn’t say what percentage he owned. He joined Steven A. Cohen, the hedge-fund billionaire; the media magnates Robert W. Pittman and Kenneth B. Lerer; Time Warner Cable and Comcast, the Mets’ partners in SNY, which bought four shares; and the Wilpon and Katz families, which purchased three. That appears to leave only one partnership without a publicly known owner."

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