Houston businessman Fertitta buying Rockets for reported $2.2billion
Houston businessman Tilman Fertitta has reached an agreement to buy the Rockets from Leslie Alexander, the team announced on Tuesday.
Fertitta, sole owner of the Landry's restaurant empire and Golden Nugget Casinos and Hotels, will reportedly pay a record $2.2billion for the franchise.
Alexander announced the Rockets were being put up for sale in July and the deal with the Galveston native is awaiting approval from the NBA board of governors.
"I am truly honoured to have been chosen as the next owner of the Houston Rockets. This is a life-long dream come true," said Fertitta in a statement.
"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."
Alexander bought the Rockets in 1993 for $85million, and the team won two NBA championships during his tenure.
"I am excited to welcome and pass the torch to Tilman. He is a Houstonian, business leader and committed to the success and excellence of the Rockets both on and off the basketball court," said Alexander.
"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."
Fertitta was previously part of the Houston Texans ownership group but had to sell his shares when he bought Golden Nugget. Forbes estimates his net worth at $3.1billion and the value of the Rockets at $1.65billion.