The Land Report


The Magazine of the American Landowner is an essential guide for investors, landowners, and those interested in buying or selling land. The award-winning quarterly is known for its annual survey of America's largest landowners, The Land Report 100.

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Page 89 of 99

DEALS OF /THEYEAR Ranchland T here was one last bit of juice left in the sprawling holdings accumulated by Florida citrus pioneer Latimer "Latt" Maxcy. Maxcy (1887–1971) was one of the •rst entrepreneurs to plant large tracts of citrus groves in the Sunshine State. Pro•ts from those operations enabled him to acquire more than 150,000 acres in Central Florida that he used for cattle and even more citrus. ‡is acreage, which remained under the control of his family after Maxcy's death, has slowly been divested. ‡e •nal portion – the 38,453-acre El Maximo Ranch in southwest Osceola County – sold last year for $136.5 million to a joint venture between the Invest- ment Corporation of Dubai and Argentine agribusiness •rm Optimum Agriculture. It ranks as one of the largest contiguous ranches in the Southeast. "It was a complicated trans- action, and we are honored to have worked with Optimum Agriculture, the investment manager, and all the other professionals on this transac- tion to bring about a successful conclusion for both the buyer and seller," said Ken Nofziger of Murray Wise Associates. Crosby & Associates was another transactional advisor. In a news release, Ben Crosby said, "A ranch of this size pro- vides an excellent opportunity for the buyer to create a plat- form for future expansion in the Southeast. It's historically been utilized as a cattle ranch with various crops throughout the years, and has water permits that could allow for plenty of options in alternative crops and biofuel feedstock farming." Coincidentally, the sale price of $136.5 million was the same amount that the Latt Maxcy Corporation grossed in 2005 when it sold 27,400 acres of ranchland to Subway cofounder Fred DeLuca and Anthony Pug- liese of ‡e Pugliese Company. Dean Saunders of Saunders Real Estate advised the company on both the 2005 and 2018 sales. "I've been fortunate to have been a part of several block- buster deals, but my work with Latt Maxcy Corporation has always stood out," Saunders says. "‡e fact that Mr. Maxcy started out with 80 acres and built an empire from the Kis- simmee River to Vero Beach still amazes me." — Cary Estes End of an Era SLOW & STEADY The Latt Maxcy empire started in citrus and grew to include packing, processing, banking, land, and cattle. El¡Maximo Ranch FLORIDA SELLER Latt Maxcy Corporation BUYERS Investment Corporation of Dubai Optimum Agriculture TRANSACTIONAL ADVISORS Ben Crosby, ALC Crosby & Associates Dean Saunders, ALC Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate Murray Wise, ALC Murray Wise Associates 2 0 18 R A N C H L A ND DEAL OF /THE YEAR 88 L ANDREP ORT.COM e LandReport | SPRING 20 19

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