After owning the New York Islanders since 2000, Charles Wang is ready for the franchise to change hands.
According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, Wang has agreed to sell the team to former Washington Capitals co-owner Jonathan Ledecky and investor Scott Malkin, pending approval of the NHL’s Board of Governors. Financial terms have not been released yet.
From the Islanders:
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to become partners in the New York Islanders with Charles, and to pursue our shared dream of winning a fifth Stanley Cup for the greatest fans in the NHL,” Mr. Ledecky said.
“I’m thrilled that Jon and Scott have agreed to join me as we start the Islanders’ final year at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum,” Mr. Wang said. “I look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
Ledecky formed Lincoln Holdings with Ted Leonsis in 1999 and eventually sold his stake in 2001. Malkin is the founder and chairman of UK-based Value Retail, which is behind a number of luxury retail outlets. The pair will take on minority shares for two seasons before assuming full control of the franchise.
Wang had been listening to offers for the team since February when he engaged in negotiations with hedge-fund manager Andrew Barroway. Wang decided to end discussions and Barroway filed a $10 million lawsuit last week claiming the Islanders owner backed out of a handshake agreement to sell the franchise.
Ledecky and Malkin are getting board as the fortunes of the Islanders are on the rise, on and off the ice. Beginning with the 2015-16 season, the team will call the Barclays Center in Brooklyn home, leaving Nassau Coliseum, where they have played since 1972. With John Tavares already at elite status, some highly-touted prospects on their way and now, new ownership, the future is very bright for a franchise that has seen far too many dark days since their glory years of the early 1980s.
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