WASHINGTON, DC, April 13, 2012 —  Covington & Burling advised Tom Benson, the longtime owner of the New Orleans Saints, in his purchase of the New Orleans Hornets for an undisclosed sum. The purchase and related agreements were finalized this week. Closing is expected before the end of June.

“I am very grateful to Bruce Wilson and the Covington team,” Mr. Benson said. “Their advice and counsel were key to getting this deal done.”
The Hornets were originally an NBA expansion franchise awarded in 1988 when the team played in Charlotte. The team moved to New Orleans in 2002. The team’s previous owner sold the team to the NBA in 2010. The NBA has been looking for another buyer since that time.  
The Covington team was led by Bruce Wilson and Scott Roades, with assistance from Brent Little and Chris Hartsfield (M&A), Peter Zern (television contracts), Jeremy Spector and Rob Heller (tax), Mike Francese and Katherine Mineka (ERISA), and Michael Cutler (finance).  

Covington & Burling LLP, an international law firm, provides corporate, litigation, and regulatory expertise to enable clients to achieve their goals.  Founded in 1919, the firm has more than 800 lawyers and offices in Beijing, Brussels, London, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC.