01/29/2011 3:38PM

Repole looking into buying a piece of New York Mets


Prominent horse owner Mike Repole has expressed interest in buying a percentage of Major League Baseball’s New York Mets from the team’s current owners, Fred and Jeff Wilpon, who reportedly could face millions of dollars in losses related to the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Repole, the owner of 2-year-old champion and early Kentucky Derby favorite Uncle Mo, said Saturday that his financial advisers have made contact with Steve Greenberg, the managing director of Allen & Company, the firm retained by Mets ownership to explore the possibilities of selling 20-25 percent of the team. But Repole said it is way too early to speculate on what may happen.

“It definitely is something that interests me, definitely something that intrigues me,” Repole said. “I have no idea what they’re thinking, no idea what their terms are. It’s way too early to speculate what’s going to happen. Are you asking if it interests me? Yes, 100 percent it does.”

Repole is a native of Queens, N.Y. – where the Mets play at Citi Field – and is a lifelong Mets fan. He chose his stable colors as blue and orange because those are the colors of the Mets. He said that among his childhood dreams was to be general manager of the Mets.

According to published reports, the Wilpons possibly face significant financial losses due to a lawsuit brought by a trustee representing victims of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, which bilked investors out of $65 billion. The Wilpons were reported to have made $48 million in profits through Madoff after investing $522.7 million with him. It is unclear how much the Wilpons would potentially have to forfeit.

Forbes has valued the Mets at $858 million, which does not include the team’s new ballpark, Citi Field, or its SportsNet New York television station.

Repole along with his business partners sold Vitaminwater to Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion in 2007. Repole also owns two other companies, Pirate’s Booty, which produces healthy snacks, and Energy Kitchen, a chain of healthy fast-food restaurants.