The Washington Capitals' owners--Ted Leonsis, Jon Ledecky and Dick Patrick--have increased their share of the company whose holdings include the NBA's Washington Wizards and MCI Center by buying out one of the company's minority partners, Arnold Heft.

Heft owned 8 percent of Washington Sports & Entertainment, which remains controlled by Abe Pollin and also includes the WNBA's Washington Mystics, USAirways Arena and Ticketmaster locations in Washington and Baltimore.

Leonsis, Ledecky and Patrick purchased the Capitals from Pollin last spring as part of a deal to eventually take over Washington Sports & Entertainment. With their latest purchase, Leonsis, Ledecky and Patrick increased their equity stake in Washington Sports and Entertainment to 44 percent. Pollin retains majority ownership. As part of the original deal, Leonsis, Ledecky and Patrick have an option, and right of first refusal, to acquire the remaining shares of Washington Sports & Entertainment.

The partners purchased the Capitals from Pollin on June 22 for $85 million, part of a $200 million deal. Leonsis, an executive at America Online Inc., invested $130 million. Ledecky, a co-founder or director of 10 publicly held companies, put up $58 million, while Patrick, a longtime Capitals executive, contributed $9.6 million.