SMOKIN’ DEALS? – Tobacco billionaire selling over 500,000 acres for $500M

By Katherine Clarke | Wall Street Journal

One of America’s biggest landowners is selling off an enormous swath of his portfolio: more than half a million acres for roughly $500 million.

In January, tobacco billionaire Brad Kelley listed a series of West Texas ranches with roughly 500,000 acres for $404 million. Now he is listing a New Mexico ranch with more than 50,000 contiguous deeded acres for an additional $96 million.

A Kentucky native, Mr. Kelley has spent hundreds of millions of dollars accumulating roughly a million acres of land. That made him one of the largest private landowners in the country, alongside the likes of Liberty Media Chairman John Malone and media mogul Ted Turner, according to the Land Report 100, a ranking of the country’s largest land owners. “Mr. Kelley invested in a lot of land in a lot of places,” said James King of King Land & Water, the listing agent for the West Texas properties. “These are investments and like any investment, there’s a time to buy and a time to sell.”

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