Tilman Fertitta taking restaurant, casino empire public in $6.6B merger

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston billionaire entrepreneur Tilman Feritta, who is also the owner of Landry's Incorporated and Golden Nugget Casino, announced Monday morning he is taking both companies public.

The company has entered a definitive merger agreement worth an estimated $6.6 billion with FAST Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company.

The move will result in Fertitta Entertainment becoming a publicly listed company.

Still, Fertitta will continue to lead his Golden Nugget and Landry's empire, serving as the chairman, president and CEO, as well as the largest shareholder with approximately 60% interest in the company and stock valued upon the closing of the transaction in excess of $2 billion.



This isn't the first time Fertitta has taken his empire public.

He first took Landry's public in 1993 through a traditional IPO, making a number of acquisitions after that.

"I look forward to returning my Company to the public marketplace. After taking the company private in 2010, we accomplished a lot. However, in today's opportunistic world, I determined that in order to maximize the opportunities in the gaming, entertainment and hospitality sectors, it was preferable to take my Company public," Fertitta said in a release.

He said he first began to explore going public in 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic set efforts back.

In June 2020, it was announced Fertitta's online casino, Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc., would go public and be acquired by Landcadia Holdings II, Inc., a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company co-sponsored by Fertitta Entertainment, Inc. and Jefferies Financial Group Inc.

That completion of the transaction meant the company's name would change to Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc. and its NASDAQ trading symbol became GNOG.

Landcadia plans to acquire businesses in the consumer, dining, hospitality or entertainment sectors.

You can read more on Fertitta's online casino from our partners at Houston CultureMap.

Fertitta is the owner of the Houston Rockets, taking over the franchise in Oct. 2017.

His $2.2 billion bid, an NBA record, to own the storied franchise was approved unanimously among the league's owners.

But that's far from all in the mogul's hefty portfolio.

Fertitta also became the owner of the only Bugatti dealership in the city of Houston, which is showcased in his posh Post Oak Hotel that opened its doors in 2018. That same year, he was honored by the University of Houston's athletic department as he helped make their new basketball facility possible. The Fertitta Center ushered in a new era for the Houston Cougars. Fertitta was also inducted into the UH Athletics Hall of Honor

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At least seven Houston companies have gone public since the beginning of September, including Academy Sports and Outdoors, which raised $203 million by selling more than 15 million shares at $13 each.

The video above is from a previous story about Tilman Fertitta, taking a look at his background as a business owner.

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