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New York Islanders Sale Talks: $370M valuation is complicated

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I'll give you some cash, some notes, some old trading cards, and a promise for Bazooka gum.

Bruce Bennett

New York Islanders sale talks between owner Charles Wang and lawyer and hedge fund alchemist Andrew Barroway reportedly continue, though there are several hurdles and it continues to look like no deal for all or even part of the team is imminent at this time.

Sports Business Journal reporter Chris Botta provides the latest additional detail on the talks, which are understood to be the only conversations Wang is having to sell all or part of the team at this time:

According to a person who was invited to join Barroway’s ownership group as a minority investor, the total valuation of the Islanders has been outlined as being $370 million — broken down as $100 million in cash/equity, $125 million in senior notes, $85 million in seller paper, and $60 million in preferred equity.

A league source said Wang continues to discuss a sale with Barroway only, with no other serious bids having been formally taken to Wang yet.

Barroway previously tried to buy the NBA Philadelphia 76ers but did not come up with the asking price, and his bid to acquire the New Jersey Devils also fell short. From the outside, that history and the need for additional investors certainly hints that he will need lots of help to pull off a deal.

The Islanders are at an interesting time for a potential sale, with a few key variables:

  • They are about to move to Brooklyn in 2015-16, with a reported guaranteed base revenue from their landlord at Barclays Center
  • They are a bad team but with a lot of young assets that point toward a brighter future
  • After years struggling at the aging Nassau Coliseum, they appear to have nowhere to go but up in a glitzier, potentially more marketable setting

So once again: Don't hold your breath.