Houston restaurateur Tilman Fertitta is buying the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion, people familiar with the deal report ,after Rockets owner Les Alexander announced in July that he was selling the franchise, which he bought for $85 million in 1993.
By selling to Fertitta, the Rockets will be in the hands of a local owner. Fertitta lives in Houston and grew up in Galveston, Texas. Fertitta has no other partners in the transaction.
Fertitta is the CEO of Landry’s Inc., a company that owns restaurants, casinos, hotels, aquariums and a high-end car dealership.
The restaurant and casino billionaire Tilman Fertittam said “I am truly honored to have been chosen as the next owner of the Houston Rockets,” Fertitta said in a release from the team. “This is a life-long dream come true,”. Leslie Alexander has been one of the best owners in all of sports, and I thank him immensely for this opportunity. He has the heart of a champion.”
The Terms and conditions were not publicly disclosed and must be approved by the NBA Board of Governors. If and when confirmed, that total would surpass Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion deal to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014 as the most expensive franchise sale in NBA history.