SBD/Issue 176/Franchises

Hornets Sale Slowed By Chouest's Search For More Investors


The consummation of Gary Chouest's agreement to buy George Shinn's 75% share of the Hornets is "now being slowed by Chouest’s desire to put together an out-of-state group of minority owners that would purchase a portion of the team," according to NBA sources cited by Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. A league source yesterday indicated that Chouest is "seeking to have a group of minority investors purchase 'a significant chunk' of the 75 percent of the team that he’ll purchase from Shinn." While the specific percentage available to outside investors is unclear, the source noted that Chouest "would be the team’s majority owner when the deal is ultimately settled." A source said, "Gary and George have come to an agreement they feel comfortable with. The hang-up has been the lack of ability of Gary to come to an agreement with the investors he’s trying to bring on board." Another source indicated that the "ultimate number of individuals in Chouest’s minority investment group has not been established, but that they are being brought in to cover a substantial gap in the final purchase price." The NBA reportedly has "not begun to perform its due diligence on potential minority owners" because the "complete partnership group has not yet been determined." Sources stressed that the "unsettled ownership situation has not, and is not, expected to retard the process of the team’s search for a head coach" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 5/25).

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