Wood burns

Green Investors Hit Sour Patch

Lignum Gruppe
More than €65 million was sunk into wood investments.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    About 5,000 small investors stand to join others who have lost huge sums in green investments in recent years.

  • Facts


    • Lignum Sachwert Edelholz filed for bankruptcy weeks after the German financial supervisory authority insisted it provide a sales brochure or cease operations.
    • According to Lignum’s website, about 5,000 small investors sank more than more than €65 million, or about $75 million, into “precious wood as an assets building block.”
    • Investors’ money went to huge plantations of precious wood in Bulgaria, Lignum claimed.
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Thousands of investors stand to lose millions in the bankruptcy of Lignum Sachwert Edelholz, which marketed green investments in forests and hardwoods.

The company, part of the Berlin Lignum Group, sold investments under the name “Nobilis.” According to the environmental organization Oro Verde, the investments ran for up to 23 years and promised annual interest payments as high as 11 percent. In that case, an investment of €8,000 could grow to some €88,000, or about $100,000.

The promises were enticing and ecologically minded, like many on today’s green capital market. Lignum pitched high profit potential, all while supporting the environment. The company said on its website the investment offered “protection from inflation through material assets” and “value creation through the natural effect of compound interest.”

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