May 3, 2010, 1:21 PM EDT
A couple weeks after a negotiation ploy that made things sound more dire than they really were, a deal has been struck for majority owner George Shinn to sell his shares to minority owner Gary Chouest.
As the news comes from NBA.com, we’re going to assume the sources are legit.
The club is planning an announcement on Wednesday afternoon, the person told The Associated Press on Monday, speaking on the condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made by either party to the sale…
Chouest is a Louisiana native and owner of Edison Chouest Offshore, a company that builds and operates marine vessels for the offshore oil and gas industries.
In 2007, when the team returned from a two-year stay in Oklahoma City because of Hurricane Katrina, Chouest bought 25 percent of the club for $62 million, saying at the time his goal was to keep the Hornets in Louisiana.
This is good news for the Hornets and anyone who wants to see the team stay in New Orleans.
The reason this is good is simple economics. For Shinn, the Hornets were his primary business and he needed the team’s cash flow to keep it afloat, which led to trades of good players (Rasual Butler) to stay under the luxury tax threshold. Chouest has a thriving energy business; the Hornets will be his secondary business and income. Not that he is going to suddenly go Mark Cuban on the spending, but there will be more money behind the team and with that more stability.
No word yet on how much the team was sold for.
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