On August 19th, the news fans had been waiting for, for a long time was finally reported by Arthur Staple from Newsday. It was reported that Charles Wang was selling a majority stake in the Islanders to London-based investor Scott Malkin and former Washington Capitals minority owner Jonathan Ledecky. While Wang will remain in control for two more seasons, there was finally an end in sight which elated most fans. Following relinquishing control, Wang will remain on as a minority owner. Just who are the future owners of the Islanders though?
BREAKING NEWS: Charles Wang has agreed to sell the #Isles to John Ledecky, former co-owner of the Capitals, and investor Scott Malkin.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) August 19, 2014
Malkin is the CEO of London-based Value Retail which he founded in 1992. The company has locations all over Europe. One of the more well-known locations is Bicester Village which in 2011 had sales of 675 million dollars, according to Value Retails website. He is also chairman of Malkin holdings which owns and manages 11 million square feet of office and retail space in the greater NY area. His family owns a controlling interest in the Empire State Building which is run by his brother. Malkin is a trustee of the New York Public Library as well as vice chair of the Urban Land Institute Empire and chair of the Urban Land Institute Europe. Last year Malkins family was named the 10th most famous multi-generational entrepreneur family by Forbes.
Ledecky graduated Harvard University and the Harvard Business School before beginning his career in Washington in 1983. While at Harvard he was actually roommates with Malkin. Ledecky made his money in corporate roll ups which means he would take multiple small companies in a similar business and merge them into one larger business. Ledecky’s first huge deal came in 1994 when he formed US Office Products. From 1999-2001 Ledecky was a co-owner of the Washington Capitals along with current Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. Ledecky owned 24% of the Capitals before selling his stake in the team to Leonsis. Ledecky also had stake in the Washington Wizards NBA team and the MCI Center. In the days following the sale, Leonsis congratulated Malkin and Ledecky on their Islanders purchase. Ledecky has served as a member of the board for Forbes since January, 2011 and the Non-Executive Chairman of the Board since February 2012.
Ledecky Making Headlines
Late last month, Ledecky and Malkin were introduced at a press conference at the Nassau Coliseum alongside Charles Wang and Islanders GM Garth Snow. While Malkin was on the quiet side during the press conference, Ledecky wasn’t shy about making headlines. At one point he discussed his dislike for the Penguins which he was sure was something he had in common with the fans. But perhaps the biggest moment came when he was asked if he had a message for fans what it would be. To that, Ledecky responded “fifth ring.” This of course is referencing the “Drive For Five” which started with the Islanders 83/84 Stanley Cup Final series with the Oilers. Sympathizing with fans over their disdain of the Penguins hasn’t been Ledecky’s only attempt at interacting with fans. If you have been to an Islanders game early on this season you have probably seen Ledecky at the Coliseum. He has been at the Coliseum this year interacting with fans and speaking with them about the team, the future, and the fans memories from the Coliseum. At the press conference, Ledecky mentioned that this fan interaction would be something that will continue throughout the season.
I am 22 years old and graduated SUNY Old Westbury with a Bachelors degree in Communications. I have been an Islander fan since I can remember. In addition, I have co-ran my own Islanders blog known as savetheisles since 2009.