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Vote on Merrill Hills sale canceled

The Legend had put in preliminary offer

May 14, 2013

A meeting scheduled for last week at which Merrill Hills Country Club members were to vote on the sale of the country club was canceled, a source said.

Another source said the cancellation was the result of the transaction's financial support hitting a roadblock.

Early indications were that proxy votes were coming in overwhelmingly in support of the sale.

The Legend Club put in a preliminary offer to buy Merrill Hills. The vote would have been the next step in giving Merrill Hills more financial backing.

A letter to Merrill Hills members a few weeks ago said the club began looking at offers because it can't restructure its loan with the bank because of financial difficulties.

Members thought the transaction with The Legend was "a done deal," but the source said they have been told little by top club officials.

How this affects the future of Merrill Hills is unknown, the source said.

Merrill Hills includes catering and banquets, a par-72 golf course as well as a tennis facility and two pools.

If The Legend's offer did not hit this roadblock, it would have been the latest acquisition for co-owner Jack Gaudion and his club, a privately owned, nonequity club that was founded in 2003 when The Legend at Brandybrook opened in Wales.

In 2007, The Legend purchased The Legend at Bergamont in Oregon, Wis.

Two years later, The Legend signed the purchase for Bristlecone Pines Golf Club in Hartland, renaming that course The Legend at Bristlecone and giving members access to three golf courses, its clubhouses, pools and tennis facilities.

Gaudion has declined to comment.

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