A Pennsylvania investment group led by hedge fund manager Andrew Barroway filed a lawsuit against New York Islanders owner Charles Wang Monday, claiming he backed out of an agreement to sell the team.
NY ICE, of Radnor, Pennsylvania, said Wang scuttled the March deal to sell the franchise to the group for $420 million after he learned of the $2 billion offer for the Los Angeles Clippers by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, according to the lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Wang then boosted the price in June to $548 million, according to the lawsuit.
"Wang was having seller's remorse," reads the 19-page lawsuit, "because he believed he had agreed to sell the Islanders for a price too low."
The suit claims Wang backed out of the deal entirely earlier this month, informing Barroway he would sell to someone else.
When asked about the allegations in the lawsuit Monday, a spokesman for the Islanders said "the reports have no merit."
NY ICE had completed all requirements for the sale, including securing financing and putting up $100 million in cash at the time, the lawsuit said.
Wang's move to dissolve the agreement Aug. 1 was "the culminating event of defendants' overall bad faith conduct" and a breach of the Securities Purchase Agreement reached between both sides in March, according to the lawsuit.
The Pennsylvania group is asking the court to force Wang to sell them the Islanders under the original terms or award a "breakup fee" of $10 million and other damages, according to the suit.
National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the lawsuit is "a private dispute that should have no impact on the team or its ongoing operations."
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