You may have recently seen in the press that Capital Alternatives Limited, along with a number of their product providers, including African Land Limited, have been taken to court by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) who claim that the investments in African Land are a collective investment scheme and therefore come under the regulatory control of the FCA. The purpose of this statement is to comment on the FCA’s action to our present body of investors.
African Land strongly refute the allegations and will contest the FCA’s action vigorously. African Land do not consider that they operate a collective investment scheme and entirely refute allegations by the FCA that African Land has knowingly misrepresented investments to investors.
We are cooperating with the FCA and have undertaken, pending the conclusion of the FCA’s action, not to promote investments in African Land or accept any new investments into African Land. Importantly, the farm in Sierra Leone is unaffected by the action and continues to operate as normal with the production of rice continuing. In addition, we openly invite the FCA to attend and inspect the facilities of the farm in Sierra Leone.
As you know African Land proudly represents hundreds of individual investors, each of whom have acquired sub leases in respect of their own acres of land. These plots are subsequently individually farmed by your appointed representatives to produce rice. Profits from the sale of rice from the individual plots are then passed on to individual investors.
Moreover, so far as we are aware, nearly all of investors in African Land remain excited and satisfied by both their investment in the Farm and the opportunities the investments provide to the local community. In May this year the Sierra Leone Ministry of Agriculture visited and inspected the Farm and were impressed with the current progress of the Farm and appreciated the opportunities it has provided to the local community including the increase of job opportunities and food source availability.
We hope that this statement provides you with clarity.
Robert McKendrick, Chairman, African Land