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Hambrecht Moves To Evict Truett-Hurst From Key Facility: VML Winery

Hambrecht Wine Group, L.P.has moved to evict Truett-Hurst (NASDAQ: THST) from the VML Winery. That winery is THST’s key production facility.

Hambrecht Wine Group is owned by financier Bill Hambrecht, a former Truett-Hurst board member whose investment company, WR Hambrecht & Co., took THST public in 2013 (Truett-Hurst Insiders Bail Out IPO, Trading Begins). WR Hambrecht & Co charged $2.1 million in fees for the THST IPO.

Hambrecht resigned from the THST board in October 2013 (Hambrecht To Leave Truett-Hurst Board). The wealthy financier has had continuing debt and legal woes. (Hambrecht Sells Floodgate Vineyard To Pay Obligations)

Eviction Attempt Subject of Truett-Hurst SEC Filing

The following is from From Truett-Hurst’s Oct. 27, 2015, 10-K Filing:

“On October 21, 2015, H.D.D. LLC (“HDD”), the operating subsidiary of Truett Hurst, Inc. (the “Company”), received a letter from Hambrecht Wine Group, L.P. (the “Lessor”), the lessor of HDD’s winery and tasting room facility at 4035 Westside Road, Healdsburg, California, under a lease dated February 8, 2011 (the “Lease”), purporting to terminate the Lease effective as of that date, and rejecting HDD’s prior exercise of its election to extend for five years the original term of the Lease (which expires February 29, 2016).

“Lessor’s purported termination is based on purported defaults by HDD under provisions of the Lease relating to payment of rent and late charges (predicated on HDD’s withholding of approximately $33,000 in rent from several monthly rental payments in 2011, 2013 and 2014 due to a disagreement over the responsibility to provide water to the leased facility), the non-delivery by HDD of production reports and estimated production reports designed to determine whether additional rent was payable, and purported failure to comply with a provision of the Lease entitled “Assignment and Subletting.”

“The Company intends to take all appropriate actions, including arbitration or litigation, to preserve its right to occupancy under the Lease for its full term, including the five year extension. No assurances can be made, however, that the Company will be successful in this effort. The loss of the lease could have a materially adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition.”