Tony Hetherington the Financial Mail on Sunday’s investigator is not impressed and writes
And since City A.M. is a specialist financial publication, I think it is reasonable to expect staff there at least to cast an eye over anything they email to thousands of subscribers, even if they do nothing more than spot the hugely obvious red flags that flutter over Orange River Wealth’s offering.
The first red flag is that although the advertisement is headed ‘Orange River Wealth’, the offering is actually for preference shares in a separate but connected company called Orange River Capital, which is raising money to take a stake in a medicinal cannabis business in South Africa.
After this, the red flags come thick and fast. The offer document is dated March, but CityA.M. advertised it just a few weeks ago. It lists Alexander David Securities as its Financial Conduct Authority-regulated broker. Yet on April 29, the regulator imposed serious restrictions on this firm, and on July 1 – a month and a half before the CityA.M. promotion – Alexander David Securities went into liquidation.
Investors are entitled to know who they are dealing with, and the Orange River offer lists Sarah Stubbs as a director, and gives details of her business experience. Yet Sarah Stubbs quit as a director on June 14.
The company’s chief executive is Lee Farbrace, who says he is currently a director of five companies he lists. Wrong. He has forgotten one. This is EMI Wealth Limited, where he is the sole director. The company was involved in a long-running legal tussle in which an investor gave evidence that he met Farbrace in 2010 and parted with £130,000.