General Grower Information
Who is acting in the interests of Growers?
Grower's sandalwood interests in TFS/Quintis are held in a complex legal structure known as a managed investment scheme (MIS) regulated by ASIC under the Corporations Act.
The Responsible Entity of an MIS is the legal entity responsible for acting for growers and managing the plantations in accordance with a scheme constitution.
The current Responsible Entity for TFS Grower's is 100% owned by Quintis Ltd which raises a conflict of interest that may not be in the best interests of growers.
The Responsible Entity for the TFS projects is currently Sandalwood Properties Ltd, formerly TFS Properties Ltd.
Sandalwood Growers is concerned that Quintis has not communicated enough with growers and we are not confident they are managing grower's interests for growers' benefit.
Who can give advice to growers?
Interests in MIS are financial products for purposes of Australian law and it is important to know who is your licensed financial adviser. Only a licensed financial adviser can give you financial advice and the Sandalwood Growers Committee cannot give financial or legal advice. It may be a good idea for your financial adviser to register so they can be kept informed and up to date on the actions of Sandalwood Growers.
History of MIS - what it means for sandalwood growers
- Managed Investment Scheme (MIS) growers in Timbercorp, Great Southern and others lost hundreds of millions of dollars
- Growers who were unable to protect their investment lost everything but their loans were still payable ending in financial ruin or bankruptcy
- MIS is a complex structure and poorly understood - but growers have a large number of rights
- Recent media has shown Quintis is financially vulnerable and has large liabilities of $555m approx. which exceeds its market capitalisation by some margin
Analysis of current situation with Quintis*:
Quintis has severe financial problems and is effectively now subject to the control of creditors and their representatives. It has large debts and shareholders are likely to suffer a total loss of their value. The situation of growers is unclear and will depend on the next steps of the creditors.
* current at 21/1/18
ASIC were not able to prevent the losses in previous failed MIS projects. ASIC will be useful to oversee developments. Sandalwood Growers has informed ASIC of many concerns regarding the actions of the Quintis Group and encouraged them to take necessary action on behalf of growers.
Growers need to act to protect their investment.
To date the costs have been borne by the Directors of the Co-op. None of the growers involved with the Co-op have been paid. It will be necessary to properly fund the Co-op by membership and capital contributions from growers and more details will follow soon.