Long Meadow Ranch Files Suit Against Investor
January 17, 2018
A Napa Valley vintner and grapegrower is suing a would-be investor over a multi-million investment to purchase a property with a vineyard near St. Helena, according to court records.
LMR Wine Estates LLC, a business entity of Long Meadow Ranch LP of Rutherford owned by Ted Hall and his family, alleges private equity investor Thaxter Sharp had agreed to pay nearly $9.8 million toward the purchase of a $10.3 million property on South Whitehall Lane, according to a complaint. Records indicate a house and a 13-acre vineyard are on the land.
The seller in December cancelled escrow when Sharp failed to make the $9.8 million payment to fund the transaction, according to the court filing and Napa County court records.
In the process, LMR Wine Estates lost its non-refundable $309,000 deposit, according to the complaint filed Jan. 11 in Napa County Superior Court. In addition, LMR Wine Estates lost “future profits and income,” according to the court document.
Sharp’s other commitments with LMR Wine Estates included $7.5 million in investments into LMR Wine Estates, according to the court filing. However, checks totaling $7 million for the promised equity funding did not have sufficient funds to be cashed, according to the complaint.
The allegations against Sharp and the Marin County-based companies he manages include breach of contract, fraud and deceit, and negligent representation, according to the court filing. The defendants, according to the lawsuit, did not have the funds and/or did not intend to invest or loan money to LMR Wine Estates, according to the complaint.
Sharp declined to comment on the lawsuit, as did a lawyer for LMR Wine Estates LLC. Sharp’s LinkedIn profile indicates he began to serve as a LMR Wine Estates advisory board member in August 2017.