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This 85-year-old will soon be one of the 100 richest people

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This 85-year-old will soon be one of the 100 richest people

Earlier this week, Autry Stephens sold its oil and gas business to Diamondback Energy in a landmark cash and stock deal worth $26 billion (€24.2 billion). Endeavor Energy Resources

Autry Stephens will be one of the richest people in the world after selling his oil business.

But the 85-year-old didn’t sound particularly enthusiastic about his new billions in an interview.

The sale will create one of the largest drilling companies that will benefit from the oil boom in Texas.

This is a machine translation of an article from our US colleagues at Business Insider. It was automatically translated and checked by a real editor.

An 85-year-old oil tycoon is cashing in – but he doesn’t sound thrilled about being one of the 100 richest people in the world. Autry Stephens sold his company Endeavor Energy Resources to Diamondback Energy earlier this week. The $26 billion (€24.2 billion) deal in cash and shares will cost him, according to “Bloomberg“ make him the richest oil tycoon in the USA.

But the taciturn Stephens said he wasn’t exactly excited about leaving the company he founded in 1979. “I will miss the people there,†he said recently in an interview with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). “It was like a little family.â€

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Stephens becomes a billionaire – but he resisted selling his company for a long time

Stephens had long resisted outside attempts to buy Endeavor, one of the last independent major oil companies in the rich Permian Basin of West Texas. However, that changed when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he told the WSJ.

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He also decided against passing the business on to his daughter Lyndal Greth, who sits on the company’s board and has children of her own, and his son is not part of the family business, according to the report. The deal with Diamondback Energy – which beat out other big-name bidders such as ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips – is poised to make the company a strong force in the domestic energy scene.

Stephens is known for his modest style. He drives to work in an old Toyota Land Cruiser and flies cheaply with Southwest Airlines, reports the WSJ. That reflects his humble upbringing on a peanut and watermelon farm in Central Texas, according to his University of Texas Austin (UT Austin) alumni profile.

Despite his great wealth and brief fame – he appeared on the reality series “Black Gold” – his career focused on “a steady paycheck and a comfortable retirement,” writes the UT Austin.

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Stephens is now one of the hundred richest people in the world

Stephens credits his success to his openness to new ideas and technologies and a “cash-first” drilling strategy that helped him survive the 2008 financial crisis while many other U.S. operators went under, according to Bloomberg. “The history of the oil industry is full of stories about people who have made and lost fortunes several times,†he told his alma mater.

When asked by the WSJ what he would do with his new billions, Stephens said he hadn’t really thought about it yet.

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The sale of Endeavor has since moved Stephens from No. 130 to No. 77 in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index catapulted. His net worth has increased by $17.5 billion (€16.3 billion) since this time last year.

Read the original article in English here.

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