Tilman Fertitta to Buy Rockets for Record $2.2 billion
Houston billionaire Tillman Fertitta has reached agreement to purchase the Houston Rockets from Leslie Alexander.
The $2.2 billion sale price to break the NBA record sale of $2 billion from when the Clippers were sold to Steve Ballmer, according to the person familiar with the terms of the deal.
"I am truly honored to have been chosen as the next owner of the Houston Rockets," Fertitta said in a statement. "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. 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."
Fertitta, 60, is a Galveston native, chairman and CEO of Landry's Inc. and chairman of the University of Houston board of Regents. Feritta is also the owner of Golden Nugget Casinos, but casino ownership is not considered an issue with the NBA regarding ownership approval with several current owners owning stakes in casinos.
Can confirm Leslie Alexander reached agreement to sell Rockets to Tilman Fertitta. Sale price to break $2 billion record for an NBA sale.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) September 5, 2017
Alexander, 73, purchased the Rockets in 1993 from Charlie Thomas for $85 million. He announced his plans to sell the team in July to leave the grind of running a team and concentrate on philanthropic efforts. He donated $10 million to Sylvester Turner's Hurricane Harvey relief fund last week.
"I am excited to welcome and pass the torch to Tilman," Alexander said. "He is a Houstonian, business leader and committed to the success and excellence of the Rockets both on and off the basketball court. "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."
"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."