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Eos Estates On Brink of Collapse, Desperate For Funds

Eos Estate Winery and Vineyards in Paso Robles has been on the brink of collapse for months and is desperate for new investment to avoid bankruptcy, according to a lawsuit filed late Monday in San Francisco County Superior Court.

Eos is part of a portfolio of brands owned by Sapphire Wines, LLC which was sold in November 2009 by a separate entity– Saphire Advisors — to The Saint James Company. Saint James, which trades on the Bulletin Board as STJC, is a penny stock corporation which had no assets before the purchase.

In addition to Eos Estate, the Sapphire Wines portfolio, now owned by STJC, includes the Novella, Lost Angel, Carneros Creek, Wildhurst and Cupa Grandis brands

Informed sources tell Wine Industry Insight that Sapphire Wines LLC is just days away from being evicted from the winery and vineyard by Entertainment Properties Trust (NYSE: EPR) which owns the winery and vineyard real estate and leases it back to Sapphire.

VIP Premium Subscribers can click here to access the complete lawsuit plus most exhibits (large file: 5 MB).

SAPHIRE WINE ADVISORS’ LAWSUIT CHARGES  EOS IS INSOLVENT

In asking the judge to appoint a receiver for Sapphire Wines LLC,  the Saphire Advisors lawsuit filed — as an exhibit — a January 25, 2010 presentation of its financial condition that the STJC board made to Entertainment Properties Trust.

The Saint James presentation included the following specific bullet points (exact quotes):

  • EOS requires immediate action to forestall bankruptcy/liquidation;
  • SAINT JAMES/EOS is technically and legally insolvent;
  • Negative Cash Flow: EOS lost $3.4 million in 2009 on a proforma basis;
  • Unable to obtain cash or credit;
  • In default with all major creditors and suppliers; and
  • Liquidation of company a real possibility in 3-6 weeks.

“Upon information and belief, the financial condition of the Eos Estate Winery has not stabilized since January of 2010,” said the Saphire Advisor’s legal filing, “and is in fact materially worse….”

That presentation was authored by Jason Shapiro, business partner and brother of Joel A. “Jake” Shapiro — who played a key role in the 360 Global/Viansa debacle.

Both Shapiros are substantial indirect investors in The Saint James Company. See related Wine Industry Insight article.

VIP Subscribers click here to read the complete, 2,000-word article.

Also In This Article:

  • ADVISORS’ LAWSUIT ALLEGES THAT SAPPHIRE WINES FAILED TO COMPLY WITH MOST SALES AGREEMENT OBLIGATIONS

  • SAINT JAMES TAKES PUBLIC SHOT AT SAPHIRE, GETS LAWSUIT IN RETURN

  • SAINT JAMES CEO SAYS HOPMAYER DIVERSIONS PUSHED IT TOWARD BANKRUPTCY

  • SAPPHIRE WINES EXECS DISPUTE SAPHIRE ADVISORS’ CHARGES

  • HOPMAYER COUNTERS THAT SAPHIRE ADVISORS HAS SECURITY LIEN ON RECEIVABLES

  • SAPHIRE SAYS SAINT JAMES IMPROPERLY TRIED TO CIRCUMVENT SECURITY AGREEEMENT

  • HOPMAYER CHARGES VIOLATION OF FIDUCIARY DUTIES

  • ENTERTAINMENT PROPERTIES TRUST JUMPS INTO FRAY, FILES FOR INJUNCTION AGAINST ADVISORS  IN TENN.

  • EPR SAYS HOPMAYER SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DISRUPT EOS CASH FLOW

  • HURST RESTATES INTENTION TO TURN COMPANY AROUND

  • AT LEAST TWO  SUITORS CONTACTED FOR A SALE, NO TAKERS YET

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