Rupert Murdoch pays Koch $200M for Montana ranch in state’s biggest sale

Beaverhead Ranch is a working ranch home to 12,000 head of cattle

Rupert and Jerry Murdoch with Beaverhead Ranch (Getty, Matador Cattle Company)
Rupert and Jerry Murdoch with Beaverhead Ranch (Getty, Matador Cattle Company)

Rupert Murdoch and his wife, Jerry, paid $200 million to buy a Montana ranch home to 12,000 cattle from the founder of Koch Industries, marking the biggest such sale in the state’s history.

The Murdochs purchased the 340,000-acre Beaverhead Ranch from Matador Cattle Company, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, according to the Wall Street Journal. Fred Koch bought the property about seven decades ago and passed it along to Charles and David Koch, his sons, after his death.

Beaverhead Ranch is a working commercial business with 25 homes spread across its 113,000 acres, mostly for the people who manage the livestock. It spans 50 miles from north to south, crossing two counties, has grazing rights on another 226,000 acres, and contains a 28-mile creek stocked with trout.

Luxury ranches are in demand. The 80,000-acre Turkey Track Ranch in the Texas Panhandle hit the market in October, asking $200 million. A similarly sized working ranch in Montana where RobertRedford “A River Runs Through It” — listed in May for $136 million.

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Murdoch said through a spokesperson that the property was “a profound responsibility,” and said he and his wife “look forward to continually enhancing both the commercial cattle business and the conservation assets across the ranch.”

While Koch Industries has sold or listed at least two other properties this year, the conglomerate remains one of the nation’s largest property owners. It sold the 11,000-acre Spring Creek Ranch in Kansas in March for $23.2 million and a few months later put the Matador Ranch in Texas on the market for $124.45 million.

The deal is Montana’s largest ranch sale in terms of both size and price, said Beachhead Home and Ranch Real Estate agent Chance Bernall, who represented the seller along with Joel Leadbetter of Hall and Hall. Tim Murphy of Hall and Hall repped the Murdochs.

[WSJ] — Dennis Lynch