Alcoa wants to sell its $250m Texas ranch with an industrial past

Alcoa Incorporated Plant. (Shutterstock Image)

Alcoa Corp. is trying to sell its ranch.

The metals giant is looking to jettison as much as $1 billion in assets, including the roughly 32,000-acre property in Rockdale, Texas, in a push to trim costs. Alcoa is asking $250 million for Sandow Lakes Ranch, which comes with wildlife, mineral rights, 14 lakes and a smelter that once produced aluminum.

The property, about 35 miles northeast of Austin, is 31 miles long and more than twice the size of Manhattan. Alcoa has owned the property since the 1950s and had a plant there that was shut down in 2008.

There are white-tailed deer, hogs, quail and two nesting pairs of American bald eagles on the property. The land also features an industrial park that’s now home to a cryptocurrency mining operation.

Alcoa has been trying to find a buyer for the land for at least the past three years. The company announced last week that it wants to sell between $500 million to $1 billion in assets over the next 12 to 18 months.

Shares gained 0.5% to $21.63 at 1:48 p.m. in New York.

At the end of a call with analysts earlier this month, Justin Bergner, an analyst at G.research, asked Alcoa’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Oplinger if the company still owned the ranch.

“It’s been for sale now for a few years, and so if you want a good ranch in Texas, give me a call.” Oplinger said, drawing laughs.

Oplinger was being serious. Alcoa, as well as the broker for the ranch, said they’re in negotiations with buyers and are hopeful they can close a sale soon.

“We’ve turned the corner, and we’re on the home stretch to closing a deal,” said Bernard Uechtritz, the founder of Icon Global Group, which is listing the property. “We have a good solid group of buyers that will take the whole thing, that’s as much as I can tell you at this point, but there’s going to be big news soon.”

(By Joe Deaux)

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