VERNON, TX (KFDA) - All 535,000 acres of the Waggoner Ranch near Vernon have been approved for sale to businessman and rancher Stan Kroenke.
The 46th Judicial District Court approved the private transaction for the ranch, which is valued at $725M, to proceed today. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The Wagonner Ranch has never had an owner outside of the Waggoner family during its 167-year history.
"The selection of Mr. Kroenke and potential sale bring to a close an unprecedented global marketing effort," said Bernanrd Uechtritz, one of the seller's representatives. "The sale of the Waggoner was an extraordinary complex and multi-faceted process, and its successful culmination is a tribute to the many people, teams and layers of teams representing all sides behind the process."
Bradley Wharton, a representative of the Wharton heirs to the ranch, said he has full confidence in Kroenke's purchase of the ranch.
"Amid an emotional and, at times, trying sale process, we never lost sight of what we wanted in a new owner of this historic property: a keen sense of tradition, a love of the land, and loyalty to the people who work here," Wharton said.
Kroenke is the owner of Kroenke Sports Enterprises, which includes the NFL's Los Angeles Rams, MLB's Colorado Rockies, and the NBA's Denver Nuggets. Kroenke is also a renowned rancher and owner of several hundred million acres of land. In 2015, The Land Report listed Kroenke as the ninth-largest land-owner in the United States.
"This is an incredible opportunity and even greater responsibility," Kroenke said. "We are honored to assume ownership of the Waggoner - a true Texas and American landmark - and are deeply committed to continuing the proud legacy of [Tom Wagner], his family, and his descendants. We will continue to preserve and protect this uniquely American Treasure."
The W.T. Waggoner Ranch was founded in 1849 by Dan and W.T. Waggoner. Two two began buying the land that would later become Waggoner Ranch in Wise County in 1870. The ranch rapidly expanded over the next century and a half and is currently the largest ranch under one fence in the country, stretching across six Texas counties.
A Forbes profile of Kroenke lists his value at $7.3B. Kroenke also owns ranches in Montana, Wyoming and Canada.