NBA franchise Houston Rockets sold for $2.2bn

HOUSTON: The Houston Rockets Tuesday announced that a definitive agreement has been signed for the purchase of the NBA franchise by local businessman Tilman J. Fertitta, sole owner of the Landry’s restaurant empire and Golden Nugget Casinos and Hotels. 

Though the terms of of the sale were not disclosed, except to confirm that Fertitta has no other partners in connection with the transaction, US media reports pegged the purchase price at $2.2 billion. 

The transaction, which includes operation of the Toyota Center Arena, requires the approval of the NBA board of governors. 

“I am truly honored to have been chosen as the next owner of the Houston Rockets. This is a life-long dream come true,” said Fertitta, a native of Galveston and life-long resident of the Houston area. "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.”

“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 Leslie Alexander, the current Rockets owner.  “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.”

Alexander, who purchased the Rockets in 1993 for $85 million, announced he was putting the team up for sale on July 17. Earlier this year, Forbes had estimated the Houston franchise’s worth at $1.65 billion.