BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Magazine of the American Landowner has selected the sale of Montana's 124,000-acre Broken O Ranch as the 2012 Deal of the Year. According to The Land Report Editor, Eric O'Keefe, the acquisition of the Broken O Ranch by Stan Kroenke from the William H. Moore Family was unrivaled in stature, scope and scarcity. "Savvy investors are putting a premium on legacy properties with solid balance sheets, and no transaction said this more emphatically in 2012 than the sale of the Broken O," said O'Keefe. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130402/CL86391 ) The 2012 Deal of the Year was facilitated by two Bozeman-based brokers: Joel Leadbetter of Hall and Hall representing Kroenke, and Mike Swan of Bates, Sanders, Swan Land Company representing the Moore Family. Both brokerages were recognized in The Land Report's third annual survey of the country's leading real estate firms specializing in land, which is featured with the Deals of the Year in the spring 2013 issue. "With the Broken O Ranch, Bill Moore had the vision, expertise and ability to assemble one of the finest cattle and farming operations in the United States," said Leadbetter. "I think everyone involved in the deal is pleased that it ended up in the hands of an owner like Stan Kroenke, who can carry forward that legacy of stewardship." "We were fortunate to have sold the ranch to an individual like Stan Kroenke, who has such a high level of commitment to agriculture and land stewardship," said Mike Swan. "He was an ideal buyer for an enterprise of Broken O's size and complexity." The Conservation Deal of the Year went to Texas's Devils River Ranches, and was brokered by Jeff Boswell at Republic Ranches, representing the buyer, and Kevin Meier of duPerier Texas Land Man, representing the Texas Nature Conservancy. "My client and I were thrilled to be able to work with Jeff Francell at the Texas Nature Conservancy to put together a deal that will protect one of the most amazing pieces of dirt in Texas," said Boswell. "By putting a proper conservation easement on this property, we were able to ensure the preservation of a true piece of Texas's natural and historical heritage." "This type of transaction is unique in so many ways and yielded a historic outcome," said Meier. "Everyone involved had the same goal of conservation in mind, and because of that goal we were able to secure 40,000 acres with a conservation easement and protect 5.5 miles of the pristine Devils River."