New Orleans Saints Owner Tom Benson Buys Hornets

   on April 13 2012 12:35 PM
Tom Benson
Benson purchased the Saints in 1985. Reuters

New Orleans native and Saints owner Tom Benson will become the owner of the New Orleans Hornets, according to reports.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Benson will own 100 percent of the team, taking over ownership duties from the NBA, which purchased the Hornets in December 2010 from then-owners George Shinn and Gary Chouest for an estimated $318 million. NBA.com's David Aldridge reports that Benson, who still needs his purchase approved later in the spring, bought the franchise for $338 million. The league reached the deal with Benson on Monday.

Benson, under the NFL's cross-ownership rule, was able to buy the Hornets since the team plays in the same city as the Saints.

The league chose Benson over a group of investors that included businessman and California swimwear manufacturer Raj Bhathal and former NBA head coach, general manager Mike Dunleavy and Chouest, who had tried unsuccessfully to buy the team from majority owner Shinn three years ago. Also included was Larry, Benson's younger brother.

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