At least one of the two 'alternative' investment schemes declared unlawful by the High Court in a case filed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has been cleared to appeal the decision.
The FCA announced on Monday it has won its battle against two unauthorised investment schemes after the High Court ruled they were to be classed as collectives and therefore must be regulated.
The court found that the two alternative investment schemes promoted by Capital Alternatives - rice harvest promoters African Land and carbon credit scheme Reforestation Projects - were acting illegally by being unauthorised.
But African Land said it had obtained permission to pursue an appeal via the Court of Appeal. It was "confident its appeal will succeed", it said.
The FCA, which brought the case, alleged the defendants, which include at least 15 other firms, had structured their schemes so as to try to avoid the need to be regulated.
The FCA does not regulate the sale of land, property or carbon credits but does regulate collective investment schemes (CISs).
But African Land said only one of the three accusations made by the FCA were upheld by the judge.
It said the FCA attempted unsuccessfully to prove that individual investor acres were not separated and that individual investment returns were pooled.
It only succeeded in getting the judge to agree that the investment was "managed as a whole", which prompted the classification of the scheme as a CIS.
The company said: "The African Land scheme has now been found to be a legitimate business: it is a genuine, large-scale farm, operated in accordance with the way in which it was marketed to investors.
"African Land's case has been overwhelmingly accepted with the Judge accepting the evidence of its directors. The FCA's factual evidence was rejected and many of their witnesses were discredited."
EIS and Seed EIS sectors
'Truly making a difference'
Avoidance, evasion and non-compliance
From 6 April 2019