Originally created 08/24/02

Sale of Mets completed



NEW YORK -- Fred Wilpon completed his buyout of New York Mets co-owner Nelson Doubleday on Friday, ending their acrimonious partnership after 16 years.

Wilpon sued Doubleday in July, trying to force a buyout at the price set by an appraiser. Doubleday countered with accusations of misconduct between commissioner Bud Selig and the appraiser. The sides settled last week.

Under the original appraisal, Doubleday would have received $137.9 million - half the team's $391 million value after accounting for debt. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, although Doubleday likely will receive more than he would have under the original appraisal.

Wilpon's spokesman, Richard Auletta, said Wilpon and his Sterling Equities partners were now the owners of the team. Auletta said the partners, who have invested in Wilpon's real estate business, will be disclosed shortly.

Doubleday & Co., the publishing house, bought the Mets in 1980 from the family of founding owner Joan Payson for $21.1 million, with the company owning 95 percent of the team and Wilpon owning 5 percent.

When Doubleday & Co. was sold to Bertelsmann AG in 1986, the publisher sold its shares of the team for $80.75 million to Wilpon and Nelson Doubleday, who became 50-50 owners.