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FMA halts Forestlands distribution plan

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/03/2017 Paul McBeth

The Financial Markets Authority is talking to Forestlands over $18 million the forest owner planned to distribute to investors after selling its assets.

The market watchdog said it received a number of complaints from Forestlands investors about the group and has asked the firm to place the $18m set aside for distributions into a trust account until more inquiries are made.

Last month Forestlands told its shareholders it was finalising payment details after selling its forests with a view to making distributions in March and April of this year.

A later update on March 15 said it was "working through the individual valuations of the respective Forestlands Companies" with the net proceeds held in trust until that was completed.

It had been in contact with the regulator "regarding the sale and won't be making any distribution to shareholders until we complete the above task, or without the agreement of the FMA".

The market watchdog on Wednesday said it had issues with the accuracy of that March 15 statement and stressed that it was published without the FMA's knowledge.

Forestlands owned 1934 hectares of forest land through a group of companies on the east coast of the North Island and in the south-west of the South Island, according to its website.

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