Billionaire Tilman Fertitta Buys Houston Rockets For $2.2B

Tilman Fertitta

Texas native and longtime Houston resident Tilman Fertitta has agreed to purchase the Houston Rockets for a record $2.2 billion, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

"I am truly honored to have been chosen as the next owner of the Houston Rockets", he said. And now, that dream has come true.

While terms of the sale were not disclosed, sources tell ESPN that Fertitta acquired the team from Leslie Alexander for $2.2 billion, a record sale price for an National Basketball Association franchise. But Alexander began looking for a new owner back in July. Lastly, out of respect for the NBA's approval process, I can say no more other than I am overwhelmed with emotion to have this opportunity in my beloved city of Houston.

"I am excited to welcome and pass the torch to Tilman, " Alexander said.

The Houston Rockets are being sold for a ton of money. "I have personally known Tilman for over 24 years and don't think I could have found anyone more capable of continuing the winning tradition of our Houston Rockets".

The team acknowledged that the timing of this sale, as the city recovers from the historic damage that Hurricane Harvey caused, is very unfortunate.

The $2.2 billion purchase price was well above the $1.65 billion valuation Forbes magazine placed on the franchise this year. Fertitta, who owns Landry's, Inc. one of the nation's largest restaurant corporations, likely won in part due to his ties to the Houston area.

Fertitta was an original investor in the Houston Texans an National Football League franchise and offered to purchase the Rockets in 1993 for $81 million, but Alexander bought them for $85 million.

Fertitta expressed an interest earlier in the year of buying the team after Alexander made the announcement that he was selling it. Fertitta said he would keep the team in Houston. While having a new ownership team could change the direction and disrupt the success of a franchise, one of their best players of all time thinks otherwise.



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