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New York Islanders owner sells minority stake, will transfer ownership in two years

The New York Islanders said Tuesday that owner Charles Wang has agreed to sell “a substantial minority interest” in the professional hockey team to former Washington Capitals co-owner Jon Ledecky and London-based investor Scott Malkin for an undisclosed sum.

As part of the agreement, Wang will cede control of the team in two years, at which point the group led by Ledecky and Malkin will become majority owners. Financial terms of the deal were not revealed, nor was the size of the minority stake in the Islanders that Wang will retain once the new group takes over.

“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 N.H.L.,” Ledecky said in a statement. Ledecky sold his minority stake in the Capitals in 2001 and later made a failed bid to buy the Washington Nationals.

The deal, which is still subject to approval by the National Hockey League, comes a week after Wang was sued for $10 million by Andrew Barroway, a hedge fund manager who had reportedly previously been in talks to buy the Islanders. Barroway’s suit claims that Wang backed out of a handshake deal to sell him the team for $420 million earlier this year only to raise his asking price to $548 million months later.

Wang and fellow former Computer Associates executive Sanjay Kumar paid about $187.5 million for the Islanders in 2000. (Kumar was later indicted on securities fraud related to his activities at Computer Associates and sold his stake in the team to Wang.) This upcoming season marks the Islanders’ last in Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, on Long Island, with the team planning a move to Brooklyn’s Barclay Arena next year.