Led by Andrew Barroway, a group called NY ICE LLC claim that they had an agreement to buy the Islanders. They are seeking for the agreement to be honored, or for Wang to pay $10 million in restitution for reneging on the deal.
Apparently, Wang agreed to sell the team to the group this past March for $420 million. According to the suit, he then tried to increase the price to $548 million. The reason cited for Wang’s change of heart is the $2 billion former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer agreed to pay for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers.
Under the deal, Wang would have received $100 million in cash and a 25 percent stake in NY ICE. As a part of the terms, Barroway and his group would have also assumed all of the team-related debt. On Aug. 1, Barroway alleges that Wang informed him of his intention to sell the team to other bidders.
“Wang, faced with the choice of honoring the terms of the (agreement) as well as his word, commitment and agreement to NY ICE, and greed on the other hand, chose greed,” states the suit.
Through the team, Wang released a statement refuting the claims:
In recent months, there have been numerous expressions of interest in the purchase of the New York Islanders. As I have consistently stated, I have been and remain willing to listen. However, potential buyers’ expressions of interest in the team or even my listening to them does not mean that any deal will be reached.
Wang became a part-owner if the Islanders in 2000, becoming the majority owner of the team in 2004. After a long-running (and ultimately unsuccessful) bid to get an arena built in Uniondale, New York; the team will move to Brooklyn, having signed a 25-year lease to play in the Barclays Center.