A West Texas ranch that’s one of the largest in the state has sold to an El Paso oilman.
Paul Foster — CEO of El Paso-based Franklin Mountain Capital — paid $32.5 million for the 37,000-acre KC7 Ranch in the foothills of the Davis Mountains.
The iconic ranch is near Interstate 10 in Reeves and Jeff Davis counties.
The spread, which dates from the 1890s, includes a nearly 10,000-square-foot lodge, a rock barn and corrals plus a second house.
Foster bought the KC7 Ranch out of bankruptcy from the holdings of Fort Worth oilman Thomas Darden.
In December, he made a so-called stalking horse bid to buy the property, which was approved by the court.
The ranch, located near Balmorhea, comes with hundreds thousands of gallons of water rights that are prized in a region where oil fracking consumes more and more liquid.
Foster paid all cash for the KC7, which was marketed for sale by Dallas real estate firm Icon Global Group.
The sale was completed in just 120 days.
“This type of deal is our specialty, and we got a great price,” said Icon Global’s Bernard Uechtritz in a statement. “It was a difficult, intense and very complicated undertaking which needed to be executed within a critical time window.”
Creditors in the bankruptcy include Hitachi Infrastructure Systems (America) LLC and Hitachi America Ltd. of Japan.
Uechtritz said the KC7 transaction was one of the largest sales his firm has handled in the last 12 months.
Uechtritz has handled some of Texas’ biggest rural land sales, including the 535,000-acre W.T. Waggoner Ranch near Wichita Falls.
KC7 Ranch buyer Foster was previously chairman of the University of Texas System Board of Regents. In 2017, he sold his Western Refining Co. for $5.8 billion.