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A billionaire sports mogul has purchased a Texas mega-ranch that has been operated by one family for nearly a century

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VERNON, Texas — A billionaire sports mogul has purchased a Texas mega-ranch that has been operated by one family for nearly a century.

The heirs of cattle baron W.T. Waggoner said Tuesday that a judge permitted the sale to Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke for an undisclosed sum. The ranch had been listed for $725 million when it hit the market in August 2014.

The Waggoner Ranch is about 175 miles northwest of Dallas. It's the largest ranch behind one fence in the United States.

Kroenke said in a statement that he would "protect and preserve" what broker Bernie Uechtritz called the "Statue of Liberty" of cowboy culture.

Waggoner granddaughter Electra Waggoner Biggs filed a lawsuit in 1991 to liquidate the estate, setting off a decades-long courtroom battle among the heirs.

PHOTO: CORRECTS BYLINE TO PAYTON MCCORMICK INSTEAD OF DANIEL WALKER-  In this photo provided by the Vernon Daily Record, A.B. Bucky Wharton III, second from left, a primary stakeholder of the Waggoner Ranch, is flanked by his attorney Glen Johnson and attorney Lonny Morrison, representing the Biggs family interest in the ranch, while appearing in court, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Vernon, Texas. The Waggoner Ranch, one of the largest ranches in the U.S. and an icon for Texas horse and cattlemen, has been purchased by Los Angeles Rams NFL football team owner Stan Kroenke. (Payton McCormick/The Vernon Daily Record via AP)
CORRECTS BYLINE TO PAYTON MCCORMICK INSTEAD OF DANIEL WALKER- In this photo provided by the Vernon Daily Record, A.B. Bucky Wharton III, second from left, a primary stakeholder of the Waggoner Ranch, is flanked by his attorney Glen Johnson and attorney Lonny Morrison, representing the Biggs family interest in the ranch, while appearing in court, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Vernon, Texas. The Waggoner Ranch, one of the largest ranches in the U.S. and an icon for Texas horse and cattlemen, has been purchased by Los Angeles Rams NFL football team owner Stan Kroenke. (Payton McCormick/The Vernon Daily Record via AP)

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PHOTO: This 1989 photo shows the entry to the headquarters of the W.T. Waggoner Ranch estate outside Vernon, Texas. The massive North Texas ranch was sold Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, to sports mogul Stan Kroenke, owner of the Los Angeles Rams NFL football team. The ranch had been listed for $725 million when it hit the market in August 2014. (Torin Halsey/Times Record News via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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