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Old 05-03-2010, 01:48 PM   #1
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Default New Orleans Hornets' sale agreement reached

Gary Chouest will be introduced Wednesday.

An agreement between minority owner Gary Chouest and long-time New Orleans Hornets' majority owner George Shinn has been reached, league sources said Monday morning, and an annoucement regarding transfer of the team's ownership to Chouest will take place Wednesday afternoon.

Chouest, a billionaire businessman who built Edison Chouest Offshore into a major player in the oilfield service industry, has been negotiating to increase his 25 percent stake in the Hornets since mid-April when it became evident Shinn was ready to sell his remaining 75 percent.

Shinn, who founded the Hornets in 1988 in Charlotte, N.C., this year underwent successful prostate cancer surgery and sources indicated last month Shinn wanted to move his life in another direction of speaking with, and encouraging cancer patients during their battle with the disease.

Talks have dragged on for three weeks or more while the two sides haggled over the value of the franchise. The latest estimation of its worth, by Forbes Magazine in December 2009, listed the value of the Hornets at $285 million. The Charlotte Bobcats, which the magazine estimated to be worth $284 million, recently sold to former star Michael Jordan for $275 million.

On April 23, Chouest and Shinn were reported to be at an impasse in their discussions because of a disagreement on the team's worth and Shinn reportedly was seeking other investors.

Early last week, however, it was obvious that there were no other individuals in contact with Shinn and talks with Chouest resumed.

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