May 26 (Reuters) - David Einhorn is planning to use $200 million of his personal fortune to buy a minority stake in the New York Mets Major League Baseball team, joining a growing number of hedge fund managers who indulge their love of sport by buying pieces of famed teams. [ID:nN26247232]
Einhorn announced his talks with Mets ownership a day after he called for Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer to step down. [ID:nN25183623]
Here are some facts about the 42-year-old investor:
* Einhorn established his reputation as a savvy stock picker when he became the first to publicly raise red flags about Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc’s balance sheet at the Ira Sohn Conference in 2008. A few months later, the investment bank collapsed.
* One of his “best ideas” at last year’s Ira Sohn conference -- shorting Moody’s Corp (MCO.N) -- however, was a flop as the stock price has surged 79.10 percent since then.
* In October Einhorn laid out his case against real estate developer St. Joe Co (JOE.N) and got into a war of words with shareholder Bruce Berkowitz. St. Joe’s share has price jumped 26 percent in the last six months.
* Einhorn sat on the board of New Century Financial and resigned in 2007 after the subprime lender faced a criminal accounting probe.
* Einhorn’s tone is mild but his tactics can be tenacious. He began shorting Allied Capital Corp (AFC.N) in 2002 and did not let up even when the battle turned intensely personal after the company obtained his telephone records. Einhorn says someone impersonated his wife and using her Social Security number directed the phone company to send copies of his home phone records to an online account.
* Einhorn now oversees $7.8 billion after starting the firm in 1996 with $1 million in assets when his wife gave him the “green light” to launch the fund.
* Einhorn’s love for the team spans decades, first blossoming when he dressed as a Met in a homemade jersey for Halloween in 1975 and taking center stage this week when he shouted “Let’s Go Mets” at the end of an investor presentation. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)