Billionaire Names Oil Stocks He Calls ‘The Investment Opportunity Of My Career’
By Christopher Helman on 02/09/2021
John Goff sees huge gains for distressed frackers especially if they follow Big Tobacco’s playbook for declining businesses.
John Goff made his first fortune more than a decade ago, teaming up with his mentor, legendary investor Richard Rainwater, to buy up empty “see-through” office buildings for pennies on the dollar in the wake of the S&L crisis that began in the late 1980s. They went on to sell Crescent Real Estate for $6.5 billion at the 2007 peak and then scooped it up again a few years later at a discount amid the wreckage of the financial crisis. Goff, based in Fort Worth, Texas, is now chairman of $3.4 billion (assets) Crescent, and personally owns the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dallas and the Canyon Ranch spa chain founded in Tucson, Arizona. He still loves high-end real estate, but today he’s focused on what he calls “the single biggest opportunity of my business career”—oil.
It’s a contrarian move, all right. Watch the financial headlines and you’d think the end of oil was nigh. Last April, oil prices went to less than zero for a day as crude in storage reached “tank tops.” America’s frackers have mothballed 60% of their drilling rigs in the past 18 months, while more than 100,000 have lost their jobs amid the bankruptcies of 46 producing companies—including the one-time shale champion of them all, Oklahoma City–based Chesapeake Energy. The plight of the American oil patch, Goff says, “is like real estate in the early ’90s. They had overbuilt, doubled the office space and were woefully overleveraged.”