(Bloomberg) -- Energy tycoon Charif Souki, who used his luxury ranch outside Aspen and shares of a liquefied natural gas export company he co-founded as collateral for personal loans, owes lenders at least $100 million, a Texas bankruptcy judge ruled.

Judge Christopher Lopez denied Souki’s claims that his lenders, including a fund managed by UBS O’Connor LLC, undermined efforts to retire his personal debt by destroying the value of the ranch and selling shares of his LNG export company, Tellurian Inc., at unreasonably low prices.

Monday’s ruling is a setback for Souki, who put the Aspen ranch into Chapter 11 last July after suing his lenders in New York. The amount Souki owes lenders will be offset by proceeds from the sale of the ranch in bankruptcy, which netted $30.5 million.

Lawyers for Souki didn’t immediately return a Tuesday message seeking comment. The ruling comes after Souki was ousted from Tellurian last year.

Tellurian shares have lost more than 90% of their value in the past two years and now trade for around 55 cents after the company’s ambitions to export gas from a Louisiana site unraveled.

Previously: Gas Tycoon’s Aspen Ranch Hits Bankruptcy as Lender Feud Rages

Lopez said there was reason to believe Tellurian’s shares could eventually be worth hundreds of millions of dollars based on Souki’s past success in the industry. But Souki defaulted on the personal debt before work was finished on the company’s Driftwood LNG terminal, the judge said.

Souki claimed his lenders could have made as much as $158 million if they sold shares at the right time, but the stock was sold for only about $30 million, according to the ruling. Lopez said Souki’s lenders waited to sell the shares because they spent months working with him on a consensual plan for repaying the loans. As of the end of 2021, UBS believed the value of his collateral exceeded the debt, according to the ruling.

Although it may be unfortunate that sale of the Tellurian shares didn’t yield enough to cover the debt, Lopez said lenders worked with Souki in good faith to avoid liquidating his personal assets while taking steps “in every aspect” to sell collateral in a commercially reasonable way. 

In return for that effort, Souki sued his lenders, the judge said.

The bankruptcy case is Strudel Holdings LLC, 23-90757, in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas (Houston)

--With assistance from Joe Carroll.

(Updates fifth graf with context about share price.)

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