NHL owners on Wednesday approved the transfer of majority ownership in the Islanders from Charles Wang to the duo of Scott Malkin and Jonathan Ledecky, commissioner Gary Bettman said. The vote took place at the league’s board of governors meeting in Las Vegas.
Bettman said Malkin and Ledecky will own 85 percent of the team and Wang will retain a 15-percent share.
The deal, agreed to in September 2014, valued the Islanders at about $485 million and included an unusual stipulation that Malkin and Ledecky spend two seasons as minority owners before taking over control of the team this summer.
“This is the second phase of the transaction initiated two years ago when Charles Wang sold 40 percent of the franchise with the anticipation that another 45 percent would be sold,” Bettman said. “Mr. Wang retains 15 percent of the Islanders but Scott Malkin will be in control.”
Malkin and Ledecky, who have steered clear of the public eye since they were introduced at an October 2014 news conference at the Coliseum, are expected to take over control of the Islanders on July 1. An Islanders spokesman did not return calls seeking comment.
Wang bought the Islanders in 2000, and Bettman praised him on Wednesday in Las Vegas for his efforts to try to keep the Islanders on Long Island before moving to Brooklyn.
“I know he put his heart and soul into that franchise trying to make it work in Nassau County,” Bettman said, “and I know he’s excited, as are the Islanders organization as a whole, about what they’ve accomplished in their first year in Brooklyn.”