CLS & Partners Limited and Sterling Mortimar Limited, two landbanking companies, have been put into provisional liquidation by the High Court on public interest grounds, following an investigation by Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service.
The two companies which are connected, operated a landbanking business selling small plots of land located in Ossett, Wakefield, to investors. Landbanking is a practice whereby agricultural land, often situated in the green belt, is bought at nominal value, then divided into smaller plots and sold on to investors for a substantial mark-up based on claims that large returns will be received when planning permission is granted.
The petitions to wind up both companies were presented by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. The court appointed the Official Receiver to act as provisional liquidator of the companies.
The case is now subject to High Court action and no further information will be made available until the petitions are heard in the High Court on 9 May.