Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta is set to become the new owner of the Houston Rockets after a deal totaling $2.2 billion was made.
Current Rockets owner Leslie Alexander agreed to sell the franchise to Fertitta who is the CEO of restaurant company Landry’s, Inc.
Fertitta took to Twitter to express his pleasure in becoming a part of the NBA, a process that began in July.
— Tilman Fertitta (@TilmanJFertitta) September 5, 2017
Also enthused about the deal is Alexander who said he was excited to welcome and pass the torch to Fertitta. “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.”
A sale this high hasn’t been made since Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion in 2014 following the Donald Sterling scandal.
Alexander’s decision to sell the team came amid a surge in franchise value. A month following Leslie Alexander’s announcement to sell the team in July, speculations arose that songstress and Houston native, Beyoncé Knowles, was looking to buy in as a minority owner.
While it is common for celebrities to make small investments in sports teams, Fertitta bought the team with no other partners involved.
The television personality explained that buying the Houston Rockets was a lifelong dream. He even mentioned to TMZ that he wouldn’t mind having Beyoncé join his team, saying, “It would be great to have her involved in any way.”
Once approved, Fertitta will become the Rockets’ 10th owner and Alexander will have made a complete return on the $85 million he spent to purchase the team in 1993.