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NFL Rejects Proposed Tom Benson’s Family Trust Settlement Proposal

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After reviewing some of the deal’s details of what would for all practical purposes be a refinanced/repurchase of the Saints franchise, I have to agree.

NFL: Preseason-Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

On June 17th 2016 it was announced that owner Tom Benson has reached a tentative settlement deal involving the family trust dispute. No specific details were given at the time but the deal had to be approved by the NFL. The NFL has rejected the proposed deal.

Basically the deal was that Mr. Benson would personally guarantee promissory notes to cover the value of the shares he would have removed from the family trust funds. We are all aware of the battle that has been going on between Tom and his estranged heirs. Wanting to leave sole control of the Saints to his wife Gayle Benson, he is trying to remove the non-controlling interest shares (60 percent) that he had placed into the family trust.

Because it would also include controlling interest shares of the organization, the NFL’s finance rules won’t allow Benson to personally guarantee this with his own personal worth. The reasoning is that if Tom Benson were to default on the notes, the trust fund could move on all of Mr. Benson’s personal assets and seize control of all shares of the Saints, including the controlling shares.

Far from resolved, the involved parties are already arguing over the value of the shares. Will the value be determined by the value of the assets from way back in 2015 which is what Tom’s amended lawsuit petitions or be subject to the ever escalating value of the team to whenever a deal is finalized.

This news was first reported by NOLA.com and if any official NFL press release is forth coming the article will be updated.