SBD/April 10, 2012/Franchises

Hornets Sale Takes Major Step As Potential Buyers Meet With Stern In N.Y.

The potential sale of the Hornets “took a major step toward completion” yesterday when “potential buyers Raj Bhathal and Gary Chouest were in the league office” in N.Y., according to sources cited by Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. A source said that Saints Owner Tom Benson “spoke with” NBA Commissioner David Stern while Bhathal and Chouest were in N.Y. Sources indicated that Chouest “ultimately could be involved in the Bhathal partnership when the sale [is] consummated, potentially along with other local investors.” Sources said that the asking price for the team “will be in the neighborhood of $340 million.” It is unclear whether Bhathal, Chouest and Benson “would be part of the same ownership group or are bidding independently” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 4/10). In New Orleans, John DeShazier wrote Benson as a potential owner for the Hornets “could be one of the best things to happen to the franchise.” A late re-entry by Benson into the bidding “would give New Orleans, and the NBA, virtually everything it’s looking for in a Hornets owner” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 4/8).
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