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New York Islanders Lawsuit: Review Andrew Barroway v. Charles Wang Sale Documents

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Filings! Emails! Casual references to "signing off" and "in final form pending your approval!"

Either get busy reading or get busy filing.
Either get busy reading or get busy filing.
Scott Barbour

If Law Suitin' is your name and close readin' is your game, then you may enjoy the opportunity to peruse the entirety of the legal filings by Andrew Barroway's group (NY ICE LLC) in his lawsuit filed against Charles Wang (CBW/SK Sports Ventures). The gist of the claim is that Wang agreed to a sale but backed out.

That set Barroway -- a lawyer before he became a hedge fund manager and pursuer of sports teams -- to go a' lawyerin'. The documents are available for your perusal here, Index # 652450/2014 and navigable at Newsday here.

Of possible interest:

  • The documents at the end, dated March 10, are communications among the parties with files that are "not yet executed but are in final form pending your approval." There is also reference to "signed off," which, as many have noted, does not actually mean signed. Feels like reaching there, but [standard law/lawyer caveat].
  • Most amusing: "In fact, on multiple occasions after March 10, 2014 Wang and McCarthy congratulated Barroway at the end of meetings and provided handshakes while reaffirming the agreement to sell the Islanders to NY ICE." Handshakes and congratulations!
  • Wang's group would rollover (buy back, essentially) a 25% interest in the new holding group.
  • But as often reported, a $125 million loan from Bank of America was a key part of the debt to be assumed.
  • Despite all the rumblings otherwise, barring an unexpected and express change of plans by both parties, the closing of the sale in this agreement would never happen until after July 1, 2014.
  • Do you find it as amusing as I do to see the words, "the reasons for Charles Wang's ("Wang") about-face are now clear: Wang was having seller's remorse." in a legal filing? So much to riff off there, including a text fight between teenage girls.
  • Barroway's suit seeks either a forced sale at (what he claims was an agreed price) of $420 million, or else a $10 million breakup fee since he had to pay lots of lawyers and bankers and move lots of paper to get as far as he got with all this.

I don't mean to be flippant with all these references to handshakes and email, but it's all well above the ice. And as you probably know, suits are so often filed to get someone to do or suffer something, and not because a party fully believes in the merits of what they're literally filing. So, at minimum Wang's own layers have some work to do to pull together a response.

If you missed it, plenty of peanut gallery discussion underway over here (in comments) from LHH's many resident lawyers and would-be lawyers who are better informed (and better compensated) than I. Thankfully, the Islanders' roster of contracts are all signed for the upcoming season, so none of this should affect that, other than the sideshow.

But you're used to that.