Is­lan­ders have goal of sell­ing 15% stake

New York Post - - BUSINESS - By JOSH KOSMAN jkos­man@ny­

The own­ers of the New York Is­lan­ders have been try­ing to sell a mi­nor­ity stake in the NHL club for months — but have not had any luck, The Post has learned.

The own­ers, Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin, are look­ing to sell a 15 per­cent stake at a $500 mil­lion val­u­a­tion, three sources close to the sit­u­a­tion said.

The duo bought a con­trol­ling stake in the team in 2014 for about $485 mil­lion.

How­ever, with­out a per­ma­nent home and with­out ac­cess to val­u­a­tion nam­ing rights and lux­ury suites, Forbes val­ued the team last fall at just $385 mil­lion — per­haps mak­ing the own­ers’ val­u­a­tion a bit rich.

Part of the is­sue for suit­ors is that it is not clear where the Is­lan­ders will be play­ing af­ter the 2018-19 sea­son, sources said.

Mikhail Prokhorov’s Bar­clays Cen­ter is not in­ter­ested in keep­ing its lease with the Is­lan­ders af­ter two more sea­sons be­cause of the oner­ous terms of the deal. Bar­clays pays the Is­lan­ders $53.5 mil­lion in guar­an­teed fees each sea­son — mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to make money off ticket and suite sales, sources said.

The Is­lan­ders, from their per­spec­tive, are not happy with ice con­di­tions.

There is an out in the lease af­ter two more sea­sons.

The Is­lan­ders have no clear al­ter­na­tive: The own­ers have been con­sid­er­ing build­ing an arena near Bel­mont Race­track, but the state has not yet moved for­ward in ask­ing for site pro­pos­als, sources said.

The courts, too, have re­cently made build­ing an arena in Wil­lets Point, Queens (near Citi Field), more dif­fi­cult.

What the Is­lan­ders own­ers are telling prospec­tive buy­ers is that they are look­ing to sell a mi­nor­ity piece of the team so that they can di­ver­sify, a source said.

Mean­while, Prokhorov is try­ing to sell a 49 per­cent stake in his Brooklyn Nets and Bar­clays Cen­ter at a nearly $2 bil­lion com­bined val­u­a­tion, sources said.

The Is­lan­ders did not re­turn calls, and Bar­clays de­clined com­ment.

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