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Koch Industries sells Montana ranch to Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch

Koch Industries' Chairman and CEO Charles Koch.
Charles Koch, chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, used to work on the Montana ranch his family owned when he was growing up.

The Beaverhead Ranch is spread across more than 500 square miles of private and leased land west of Yellowstone National Park.

DILLON, Mont. — Koch Industries has sold its sprawling cattle ranch in southwest Montana near Yellowstone National Park to Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch.

The Beaverhead Ranch is spread across more than 500 square miles of private and leased land. Located south of Dillon, Montana, along the Montana-Idaho border, it has about 7,000 cattle and is home to 15 families who are employed on the ranch, according to Koch subsidiary Matador Cattle Company.

The sale was confirmed by Murdoch spokesperson Jessie Lyons after being reported by the Wall Street Journal, which is owned by Murdoch's News Corp. Lyons declined to comment on the price.

The Wall Street Journal reported the sales price as $200 million.

The ranch was founded in 1865. It was acquired in the 1951 by Fred Koch, founder of Koch Industries. The company is now run by his son Charles.

Like Murdoch and his media companies, the Koch family is known for promoting Republican candidates and causes.

The Beaverhead Ranch borders Montana's Blacktail Wildlife Management Area and Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in the Centennial Valley.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.