Key Post Investment in Irish Forestry Funds

Macbeth

Registered User
Messages
33
I was also very disappointed with the return from the 6th fund. About €1100 after 20 years - a far cry from the 12.5% originally envisaged and hardly a "compelling" reason to liquidate the fund. Anyway, I'm off to France to buy wine with the proceeds...
 

Chelseablue

Frequent Poster
Messages
51
The return on the 4th Fund was 3.6% not what I expected & not close to what was predicted 20 years ago, where o where has the money gone???
 

ColinC

New Member
Messages
4
I invested in the Fifth Irish Forestry Fund in 1998 and my investment has barely doubled. What's more I received no notification of the liquidation of the company, simply a cheque and a fond farewell. The original projection after 30 years was €30,000 for a €500 investment - the €1061 I received after 21 years is pathetic. Have their trees been shrinking? Has their land, unlike land everywhere else, devalued? As they are hiding behind an answering machine, I have emailed them letting them know that I'll be complaining to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement. I am deeply suspicious about all this. Anyone who feels the same should also email them and if you don't receive a satisfactory response, complain to the ODCE, or take legal advice. I smell a big rat here.
 

Marco 1972

Registered User
Messages
16
In the same boat with 3 shares from 5th and 6th plans and a pitiful return but not sure what recourse we have to complain or to seek oversight at this stage, l dont know how many are of a similar opinion, serious if you were depending on the 17,000 for each share projected for the 30 year term.

I dont know how it is done but is it a case of sending an email to corporate enforcement and they investigate ,
 

ColinC

New Member
Messages
4
I was also informed in 1998 that I could expect a return of approximately 14% per annum. This would have yielded €7,800 after 21 years. I have annual statements as recent as March 2019 stating that the investment 'continues to show strong existing and long term future demands for all forestry products'. Current investment advice, which you can find in any newspaper, is also saying that forestry is a secure investment. Even if there were some market factors (which I doubt) that have affected the price, I cannot believe that it has tumbled to this extent after such recent optimistic forecasts. And why would the Forestry Fund sell off a valuable asset for such a paltry return? There is a colossal difference between the roughly €1000 that investors received and the €7,800 projected, especially as they've been claiming the investment was showing strong growth for two decades now. Furthermore, this forestry investment was also grant-aided by the state - does the grant-awarding agency know what's going on, I wonder.
 

Mullaghan

New Member
Messages
3
invested 6k in the sixth plan. Had a letter on 15th may 2019 saying they accepted a 'strong offer from an interested party with a strong secure return on investment'.

Where as today i receive the check. 8 shares worth only €356 each, and the letter says the sixth plan went into 'members voluntary liquidation'. Surely some sort of foul play here?
 
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Bagehot

New Member
Messages
5
The directors of the Fund/s were meant to act in the best interests of shareholders which doesn’t seem to be apparent. Was there a competitive sales process, a proper independent valuation? The return seems to be shocking, given the risk taken, and that’s not even after taking inflation into account! While I haven’t checked Veon’s financial accounts online (yet) one would suspect they have done very nicely from the annual management fees across all Funds etc., over the years. Indeed, it is notable, that Veon will continue to provide the forestry management services (for a fee, no doubt) which, on the surface, would appear to be a conflict of interest (guessing commonality of directorships) and would call into question the independence of the decision making process.
 

jpd

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,963
A lot of these problems were outlined years ago when the funds were first offered. The terms and conditions were clear, at least in the one I looked at closely, so I don't think there is much that can be done now. The control structure set up was plain and straight-forward from the start, making it clear that the ordinary investor had little or no say in the workings of the companies

The returns offered were indicative only and the phrase If it's too good to be true ... comes to mind

After reflection, I did not invest although the diversification into forestry looked attractive at first sight
 

ColinC

New Member
Messages
4
Just because 'the ordinary investor has little or no say in the workings of the companies', doesn't mean they have the right to mismanage the funds we invested, and that's putting it mildly. The returns we've been given bear no relation whatsoever to the reports they've been plying us with for years i.e. continued strong growth. And why are they so secretive about the name of the company they sold to? How is their performance completely at odds with the positive growth in other forestry investment funds? And why are they not answering their phones?
 

Mullaghan

New Member
Messages
3
The irish times have written an artical on it. Couldn't figure out how to post the the link on here but i googled 'irish forestry funds sale' and it came up.
I get we have no real say in how the company opperates but to go from their letter in May to what we're all finding out today doesn't seem right to me.

Has anyone contacted to ODCE or the papers yet?
 

Chelseablue

Frequent Poster
Messages
51
See below taken from the fourth fund prospectus dated Oct 1998


Returns Once the Forests are mature they will be sold as standing timber. The underlying land will then also be sold. All profits from the sale of these assets plus retained profits will then be distributed to the Preference Shareholders. Based on the assumptions set out below, a once off investment of £500 per share should result in a distribution in excess of £17,120 Tax Free per share when the crop is harvested. This equates to a compound annual rate of return of 12½% per annum.
 

ColinC

New Member
Messages
4
The irish times have written an artical on it. Couldn't figure out how to post the the link on here but i googled 'irish forestry funds sale' and it came up.
I get we have no real say in how the company opperates but to go from their letter in May to what we're all finding out today doesn't seem right to me.

Has anyone contacted to ODCE or the papers yet?
You have to contact the company first (by email/letter) and give them 14 days to respond before you can make a complaint to the ODCE. I've written to them expressing my extreme dissatisfaction, but no response yet.
 

Lar Sheeran

Registered User
Messages
23
The shares cost in 1999 €634.87
You received €1,106.90 after 20 years
Lets get together on this one,
Lar
 

Aisling Murphy

New Member
Messages
2
I invested in the Fifth Irish Forestry Fund in 1998 and my investment has barely doubled. What's more I received no notification of the liquidation of the company, simply a cheque and a fond farewell. The original projection after 30 years was €30,000 for a €500 investment - the €1061 I received after 21 years is pathetic. Have their trees been shrinking? Has their land, unlike land everywhere else, devalued? As they are hiding behind an answering machine, I have emailed them letting them know that I'll be complaining to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement. I am deeply suspicious about all this. Anyone who feels the same should also email them and if you don't receive a satisfactory response, complain to the ODCE, or take legal advice. I smell a big rat here.
I am a shareholder in 6th fund and am outraged my share has been sold without my permission. Also, the return is less than a quarter of what I expected and I never agreed to the sale and never would have done so at the ridiculous rate of €1106.90 on a 500 punt investment over 20 years.
Veon have not been answering their phone or replying to e mails so I went up to their offices and spoke to a guy called Gavin Murray who is defending the miserable returns of €472 on the 6th Irish Forestry Fund and €432.72 on the 7th Irish Forestry Fund. This is a complete rip off. The Managing Director of Veon Trevor McHugh was not there but I spoke to him yesterday and read him the riot act. His phone number is 01 6219406 if any of you feel like letting him know how you feel about this unethical and as far as I’m concerned corrupt process. Paul Brosnan the director of the forestry funds is now the Marketing Director of Veon who have taken over the management of what were our forestry investments, now owned by Axa. This is a clear conflict of interest. We need action. Please comment if you want to join me in protesting this sale of our investments without our consent. My e mail address is aislingmurphy1@gmail.com
Let’s get together and demand some answers. I would like to find out what led to the sale of our investments, did Axa approach the forestry funds or were they approached? When was Veon set up and why? I’d like to see the minutes of every meeting where the sale of our forestry investments was discussed, etc.
 

Macbeth

Registered User
Messages
33
I have also emailed them today, protesting about the paltry return on the sale. I'll await a reply and then try the ODCE. The 12.5% pa envisaged turned out to be nearer 2%! I should have invested in wine!:mad:
 

Marco 1972

Registered User
Messages
16
Does each of us individually need to contact Veon and then the ODCE ? if there is a case to answer can the ODCE instigate an investigation based on one conplaint covering all the various funds, l am a complete novice at this so would appreciate a bit of a steer on it. I was a student at the time back in the late 90s when these funds were advertised so at least l have some years to make up the deficit if l can, but am still angry.

I am aware of the headless chicken scenario of this situation and need to distinguish if what has been done is strictly legal but sharp practice/unethical or has breached a particular legal boundary.
 
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