The Tour de France might come to seem less grueling — and certainly less murky — than Greg LeMond’s two-year legal fight against the Yellowstone Club, which he resumed this week when he asked a Montana judge to order club owner Edra Blixseth to pay him the final $13.5 million of a $21.5 million settlement, a Bloomberg story says.
The judge granted LeMond’s request, but the cycling great, who won the world’s top cycling race in 1986, 1989 and 1990, will have to get in line for his money. The Yellowstone Club, which Edra Blixseth only won control of in August after a long and bitter public divorce with former timber executive Tim, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Nov. 10.
In her filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Butte, Montana, Blixseth tallied the club’s debts at about $350 million. The biggest liability is $307 million, not including interest, to Credit Suisse Group. The Zurich-based bank loaned the club $375 million in 2005.
That loan is what prompted LeMond to sue the club, which Edra and her then-husband Tim co-founded in 2000. In his 2006 complaint, LeMond claimed that the Blixseths took $209 million as a dividend for themselves and didn’t share it with other investors, including LeMond, his wife’s parents, and his friend, investment banker Jorge Jasson.
Edra won the club this year in her divorce from Tim, 58, and promptly settled with LeMond. As part of the settlement, Edra signed an agreement with LeMond and his group allowing them to seek a judgment against her if she didn’t make the second payment, according to LeMond’s court filings.
The judgment puts LeMond close to the front of the line of those owed money by Blixseth and is backed by Blixseth’s 160-acre home at the club, Bloomberg reported. But Sam Byrne of CrossHarbor Capital Partners also has a lien on the Blixseth’s Yellowstone Club home, as well as her Palm Springs mansion on a private golf course. Byrne’s lien is ahead of LeMond’s.