Texas tycoon T. Boone Pickens shutters energy hedge fund

By Emily Schmall, Associated Press

Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, who is recovering from a series of strokes and a fall last year, said Friday that he is closing his Dallas energy-focused hedge fund after what he described as "one hell of a roller coaster ride."

In a May 30, 2017 photo, oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens poses for a photo before a series of man-made lakes leading from The Lake House to The Lodge on his Mesa Vista Ranch in the panhandle of Texas. Pickens announced Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, that he is closing his Dallas energy-focused hedge fund. In a statement published on LinkedIn, the 89-year-old Pickens says that "it's no secret the past year has not been good to me, from a health perspective or a financial one." (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, File)
 

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, who is recovering from a series of strokes and a fall last year, said Friday that he is closing his Dallas energy-focused hedge fund after what he described as "one hell of a roller coaster ride."

"It's no secret the past year has not been good to me, from a health perspective or a financial one," the 89-year-old Pickens said in a statement published on his LinkedIn page. Slumping oil and natural gas prices knocked him off Forbes magazine's rich list in 2013.

Pickens founded BP Capital in 1996 after building one of the country's biggest independent oil companies, Mesa Petroleum.

The fund's "performance was down in the last several years," Jay Rosser, Pickens' chief of staff, said Friday, declining to provide numbers. "The whole energy space has been hard hit. We're sadly in good company," he said.

Pickens expressed pleasure at how the fund fared, despite the highs and lows.

"It has been one hell of a roller coaster ride," he said in the statement. "I've seen oil prices bounce around from $10 a barrel up to $147, down to $26 and now appear to be inching up ever so slowly. I'm ecstatic that I've hung on long enough to see it all unfold. I've thrived and profited on the volatility in the energy space. But for me, personally, trading oil is not as intriguing to me as it once was."

Pickens said two other investment vehicles, BP Energy Partners and BP Capital Fund Advisors, will remain open.

The energy-trading fund's closure is Pickens' latest effort to get his financial affairs in order.

He listed his prized Texas Panhandle ranch for $250 million in November. He also put his Dallas mansion on the market for $5.9 million, but Rosser said Pickens plans to stay in Dallas and continue to come into the office every day.

Pickens rose to national prominence in the 1980s when he led a series of takeover attempts, targeting Phillips Petroleum, Unocal and Gulf Oil, among other companies.

He's also given away more than $1 billion to philanthropic causes, according to Rosser.

Pickens said in the statement that he will continue to engage in philanthropy and politics and to provide his perspective on energy and cultural issues.

He hosted a fundraising meeting of America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC, at his ranch in October. He plans to host a summit to discuss a planned veterinary school at Texas Tech University at his ranch later his month, Rosser said.

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