This article has been written by a bondholder in FRE Plc . The opinions expressed in this article are those of the investor. She has taken it upon herself to form a Facebook Group for FRE bondholders which can be accessed via this LINK. https://www.facebook.com/groups/freplcbondholdersforum
In October 1992 I lost my 9 year old, diabetic son to a sudden, devastating hypoglycaemic attack, in the bathtub of our home. My 11 year old daughter found him floating face down in the bathtub, I knew half of me had died and my girl had lost the only other family she has in this country, apart from me.
In September 2013, she and her partner had their first baby girl, beautiful and perfect in every way, and 2 years later another daughter just as precious. I knew that I would spend the rest of my life trying to ensure that their lives would be happy, safe and free of the fear and worries I had experienced as a single mother. Tragically it would not prove that simple. Just 2 years later their eldest was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Suddenly my daughter was stepping into my shoes: a poor single mother, living in a tower block full of junkies and alcoholics, working full-time for a low income. She split up with her partner and I was the only other family she had.
So, when my mother died and I inherited some money, I redeemed the small mortgage on the home I share with my partner, and committed the remainder to an investment in FRE Plc to secure my daughter and the children’s future, while helping to safeguard their planet’s climate. I am passionate about supporting ethical issues and investing in what I believed was an ethical and safe investment. I searched the Internet, using Ecosia – the search engine that plants trees – and at last found a company that fitted the bill: ethical, environmentally beneficial, offering a good return to borrow money to develop onshore wind power in the UK and reduce reliance on Fossil Fuels! I researched the company’s background and looked at their filings on Companies House. I was no expert but I tried to make sure what I was buying was as safe as I could make it. Yes, there is always an element of risk, but wind power – they explained – was subsidised by the Feed in Tariff, and so guaranteed by the UK Government. Besides – they added – even if anything should go wrong and the Company should go into administration, Bondholders have “first charge” and so would get their investment back from the sale of the wind turbine sites before any other creditors.
The charming saleswoman assured me that, as FRE was busy re-powering some of its sites, installing more powerful turbines where permits allowed it, these would increase in value, over the following years, generating more revenue than ever and securing the long term future of Bondholders’ investment. It was the answer to my prayers! I was told that, as someone they considered to be “a high net worth individual” – by dint of the sum I had inherited – I would be accepted on Phase 4 investment. As the money came into my possession, between 2018 and 2019, I retired, because my health had taken a dip, and I elected to dedicate my time and energy to childcare, to free my daughter from expensive after-school fees.
It was then that I paid FRE Plc. well in excess of £100,000, feeling that at last I could sleep easy at night, knowing that soon I could help her buy a home, so she would no longer have to pay rent, or feel afraid in her own home. For a while the interest came in, punctually, until May this year (2021), when my hopes were shattered by an email that was like a bolt out of the blue. After a lengthy explanation it announced that:
It is with great disappointment we must inform you that, in light of these developments in our sale process, it is now clear that there will be, in all likelihood, a deficiency in our asset value when compared to our Bondholder obligations regardless of the outcome of this exercise. It is this impact we write to you today to seek your own approval on the way forward.
In the interim we have halted payment of interest on your Bonds in order to ensure we are not preferring any creditors under legal advice. This interest will continue to accrue and form part of any future claim you have in the portfolio.
The money my 92 year old mother had so carefully invested into her property, that she had held on to, even when she could have done with extra help and care, was now evaporating, leaving behind a fraction of the proceeds from her sacrifices and my well-intentioned investments. Meanwhile, those who had given their assurances disappeared. Both the salesperson and her manager had gone leaving behind the founder, a man with 31 Directorships under his belt – who had proved inept at best and possibly fraudulent at worst.
I have hardly slept a single night, since then and curse myself for being so naive… “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!” the words echo in my mind, and I feel devastated, hating myself for my naïveté.
Meanwhile men like these will be free to go on to destroy other lives like my girls’ and mine. They will not suffer because their wealth is beyond our reach and they will not even lose any sleep!
SAFE OR SCAM COMMENT – FRE PLC is currently attempting to force through a vote on restructuring. This is similar to other bond investments which have also recently claimed that investors have supported restructuring proposals after opaque, undemocratic and highly questionable voting processes. Our legal advisers have stated that they believe all bondholder restructuring outcomes are unlikely to be bind many classes of bondholders.
Why now ? Because the UK Government’s moratorium on the filing of winding up petitions ends on 30th September 2021. There is a rush to force through changes to Bond Instruments before bondholders can take recovery action against the companies. The FRE PLC vote is due to take place on 28th September 2021.