Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Fortune Magazine report: Charles Wang tried to sell Islanders to two interests, simultaneously

09/05/2014 at 10:34pm EDT

Via Sports Illustrated, New York Islanders owner Charles Wang is finally--albeit slowly and surely, to Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin--relinquishing control of the team he's allowed to languish for the past 14 years, all while being sued by a second party, hedge fund manager Andrew Barroway, for reneging on a second deal to sell the team.

Given Wang's wacky ways (see: the repeated attempts to tie renovating Nassau Coliseum or build a new rink based upon the "Lighthouse Project's" various guises), it's surprising but not shocking to find that Fortune Magazine's David Primack and Daniel Roberts report that Wang had been working on selling the Islanders to a third group, too:

Apparently unbeknownst to Barroway, Fortune has learned that Wang also was negotiating to sell the team to a Boston-based investment firm called Peak Ridge Capital. Not beginning in March, but several months earlier.

The ultimate agreement would have valued the team at $508 million — Peak Ridge originally had offered around $30 million less — with Wang sending Peak Ridge a purchase and sale agreement that in many sections is identical to the one sent to Barroway (it is worth noting that Peak Ridge would have been aware of Barroway’s attempts to purchase the team, as it had been leaked to the media). Part of the Peak Ridge group included a former NHL player, who likely would have run hockey operations.

A source familiar with the situation says that Wang told Peak Ridge that it had a deal on July 28, the very same day that Barroway alleges that Wang began asking him for a $548 million price-tag. Wang then headed off to vacation in Hawaii (per the Barroway complaint), and left Peak Ridge with the impression that the documents would be executed upon his return. Then, four days later, Peak Ridge also learned about Ledecky and Malkin.

When called for comment, Peak Ridge CEO Mike McNally confirmed that he had been in negotiations with Wang and felt that he had a deal.

Primack and Roberts continue, and they add the following note regarding the NHL's possible complicit knowledge of Wang's efforts to sell the team to different interests simultaneously:

Peak Ridge doesn’t appear interested in suing Wang, but the very fact of its previously-secret negotiations could make it much more difficult for Wang to argue that he was acting in good faith with Barroway. And if the NHL knew about Wang’s double (and triple) dealings, then it could make prospective buyers for the next for-sale franchise a bit more circumspect.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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