Waggoner Ranch: $725M 'American landmark' finds a buyer

Story highlights

  • Stan Kroenke buys famous Waggoner Ranch
  • Billionaire first to purchase ranch in 166 years
  • Vast estate includes 14,000 cows, 500 horses

(CNN)It was an opportunity too good to pass up -- if you had a spare $725 million, that is.

American businessman Stan Kroenke, owner of NFL team the Los Angeles Rams and a major shareholder in English Premier League soccer club Arsenal, has completed the purchase of the fabled Waggoner Ranch in Texas.
The sale price for the 800-square-mile property near the city of Vernon in Wilbarger County remains a secret but was listed on the market for $725 million, making it one of the most expensive properties in the U.S.
    "This is an incredible opportunity and an even greater responsibility," Kroenke said in a statement.
    Stan Kroenke, seen here in 2011, has bought the famous Texas ranch.
    "We are honored to assume ownership of the Waggoner -- a true Texas and American landmark."
    The 68-year-old, who is worth an estimated $7.3 billion, becomes the first person to purchase the ranch since it was established by the Waggoner family in 1849.
    The property, which boasts 14,000 cows, 500 horses and is thought to be the largest ranch behind one fence, employs 120.
    The real estate agent charged with selling the land, Bernard Uechtritz, told CNN in November that, rather than balking at the asking price, there were hundreds of potential suitors who inquired about the property.
    "It stands head and shoulders above everything else as it is head and shoulders above everything else," Uechtritz said.
    "It's truly a one of a kind. Where can you go with half-a-million acres under one fence with oil, cattle, natural resources and intellectual property? Nowhere, it's just not out there.
    Uechtritz, who has sold everything from cattle stations in his native Australia to celebrity pads in Beverly Hills, explained that he had turned down a number of eye-watering bids.
    "I can tell you it's not often you can dismiss out of hand an offer for several hundred million dollars -- you're not even getting on the dance floor with several hundred million dollars."
    A quarter of the mineral rights will remain in the possession of the current owners -- to date, around 160,000 of the total 560,000 acres have "proven prolific oil properties."