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Maguire set to return to UK as questions over cru ties to Africa continue

cru Investment Management founder and non-executive chairman Jon Maguire is set to return to the UK today.

His return from Malawi coincides with the admission from the cru board that it does not believe that the Arch cru funds can be successfully remarketed once the suspension is lifted. This has led to the departure of a number of the group’s staff levels on the marketing and sales side of the business, some of which look set to transfer to the Africa operation.

A statement from the firm reads: “Given the suspension of the ARCH cru range these functions are thus redundant. Commercial revenues are clearly under threat as a result and there is no proposition for the market as things currently stand. Consequently, it is entirely prudent from a business management perspective to make those people engaged in those functions redundant.”

Redundancies include three sales staff, three sales support and one departure each in event management and marketing.

cru has reiterated that the Africa Invest Fund Management business, which launches its corporate finance arm in April, is not connected in any way with cru, except for Maguire’s equity position in both businesses.

Africa Invest fund invests in Malawian farms, raise living standards of the rural population and help boost economic growth in one of the world’s poorest countries. In addition to the Africa Invest fund the group launched the Africa Invest Capital Protected Plan, which offers exposure to the AIF but with capital protection.

The business received a £2.4m interest free loan from cru for establishment costs, farm acquisitions and working capital. A presentation for the Africa Invest fund also shows that cru has retained a 10 per cent stake of the company as founder shareholders – all of which is believed to be Maguire’s stake.

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