Mets’ sale price should boost Braves’ value, investors told

The recent sale of the New York Mets to hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen for $2.4 billion should increase the value of the Braves, an executive with Braves owner Liberty Media told investors Thursday.

“We aren’t saying Steve paid too much, but we appreciate what it should mean for our stock,” Liberty Media principal financial officer Brian Wendling said during the company’s annual investors conference, which was held virtually.

He said the Braves would be worth $2.6 billion if valued at the same multiple of 2019 revenue as the Mets.

That would be well above Forbes’ most recent estimate of the Braves’ value, which was $1.8 billion, and well above the recent stock-market valuation of the Braves, which Wendling said was $1.2 billion “after backing out analysts’ consensus value for (the mixed-use development) The Battery (Atlanta).”

The potential upside “is truly an opportunity to hit it out of the park,” Wendling said, “and we expect continued good things to come for the team and for the equity.”

Braves president and CEO Derek Schiller also brought up the Mets transaction in his presentation during the Liberty Media “investors day” event.

“We certainly are watching that closely. I hope you are, too,” Schiller said. “We actually have a lot in common with the total revenues of the Mets, so you can make your own determination about what the value of the Atlanta Braves is as a result of some of those recent transactions, especially including the Mets.”

While the Braves, like all MLB teams, have suffered severe financial losses during the coronavirus pandemic, Schiller expressed cautious confidence about a rebound in 2021.

“As far as financial results, look, I think everybody in the live-events business will tell you that we were substantially impacted (by the pandemic),” Schiller said. “… But if you focus on next year and once we emerge out of this, we think we’re going to be able to return to those high-revenue achievements that we were having before COVID came.

“We’re five months away from the start of the season. Who knows what happens in the span of that five months? A lot has happened every single day during the course of this. But (tickets) are on sale this week for all 81 (home) games and for all 41,000 seats.”

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