Sporting Ranch Capital, an alternative investment firm that focuses on buying ranches and ranch land in need of rehabilitation is closing in on its second fund. Sporting Ranch Capital launched its first fund in 2012, buying up sporting ranches and rehabilitating them for purchase. Now the firm is on track to start its second property fund, and is gaining institutional interest.
The fund is backed by Jay Ellis and T. Boone Pickens, both of whom have decades of experience building and maintaining world class sporting ranches. Pickens ranch is known as one of if not the top sporting ranch in the world. The firm buys properties throughout the west including the high plains region, and into the four corners.
"We make sure that all of our ranches are within 30 minutes of medical care and town. The properties have everything you would want out of a sporting ranch including live water, fishing, game, and updated accommodations," says Ellis.
The first fund included five properties, and closed on $30 million. The second fund is targeting 8-10 properties and $50 million. Ellis partnered with Pickens after covering his directional long/short fund as an analyst at BP Capital.
It takes approximately one year from purchasing a ranch for Ellis and the firm to get things up to snuff for a sale. Sporting ranches differ from other types of ranches in that they are focused on activities like fishing and hunting instead of maintaining cattle or commercial use ranch land.
Prices and frequency of ranch land sales have gone up significantly in the last three years as more individuals wish to own land and investors seek to add real assets to their portfolios. In some cases, buying a ranch just fulfills a dream.
"These are emotional purchases for the individuals that ultimately buy our properties. You have to have want to own a sporting ranch and all that entails, or you're not going to be a buyer," Ellis adds. He works with the future owners on issues like working with federal conservation programs and other support programs for land owners and ranchers.
This article was published in Opalesque's Private Equity Strategies our monthly research update on the global private equity landscape including all sectors and market caps.