Alex Rodriguez is no longer leaning on JPMorgan for his sports acquisitions despite the ex-Yankees’ insistence that he was not angry with the Jamie Dimon-led bank after his deal to buy the New York Mets blew up last year.
As The Post reported last year, A-Rod was fuming about losing the Mets to billionaire Steve Cohen last August, and loudly griped that the process had been rigged.
What wasn’t revealed at the time was that Rodriguez was also pointing a finger at JPMorgan, his lead banker and adviser in the failed deal.
Asked about the claims, both A-Rod’s reps and the bank adamantly denied any riff.
But just last month, Rodriguez and one of his partners in the Mets deal, entrepreneur Marc Lore, finalized a new deal — without the help of JPMorgan — to buy a 20 percent stake in the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. They have options to eventually acquire the whole team, along with the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx.
To get the deal done, the pair worked exclusively with investment bank Inner Circle Sports and its founder Rob Tilliss as their financial adviser, sources close to the situation said. JPMorgan did not advise on the deal, although it provided some financing, sources said.
Sources say this is proof of the fallout they say followed the sale of the Mets to billionaire hedge funder Steve Cohen. JPMorgan declined to comment as did Rodriguez.
“I don’t think it ended well with JPM,” one source said. He noted that JPMorgan “did everything for A-Rod in the Mets deal,” and that the bank didn’t appreciate being blamed for losing the MLB team to Cohen.
In claiming the Mets bidding process was rigged, Rodriguez last year pointed to an Aug. 28 call by Mets’ banker, Steve Greenberg of Allen & Co., asking for a sneak peek at the A-Rod team’s offer.
Rodriguez — who had also been vying for The Amazins with his then superstar fiancée, Jennifer Lopez — reluctantly complied with Greenberg’s unusual request only to learn later that same day that the Mets were in exclusive deal talks with Cohen.
Both A-Rod’s team and Cohen offered roughly the same amount, $2.35 billion.
A-Rod has specifically criticized the executive chair of JPM’s Corporate and Investment Banking, Carlos Hernandez, a member of JPM’s operating committee, claiming Hernandez told the A-Rod group that he had a special relationship with Mets banker Greenberg, sources said.
A-Rod has said he thinks it was naïve of Hernandez and JPM to have ever thought the Mets might actually sell to him over Cohen, who previously had a deal to buy the Mets in 2019.
And he feels they foolishly played hardball with the Mets without any leverage, sources said. In revealing the $2.35 billion bid on Aug. 28, A-Rod and his team told the Mets they had mere hours to accept the offer or they would walk.
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