Farmland Partners Inc. (NYSE: FPI) (the “Company” or “FPI”) today announced that the deadline to appeal has passed with no appeal filed by the plaintiff from the U.S. District Court’s April 6, 2022 ruling dismissing the class action lawsuit against the Company and certain of its executives.
The class action suit has been pending since July 2018, when FPI, its management, and its shareholders were targeted by short sellers who knowingly printed false information about the Company to manipulate its stock price and profit from the resulting price drop. The author of those attacks has since admitted the falsity of numerous allegations, which were at the core of the class action case.
The Company expects the plaintiff’s decision to forego an appeal of the district court’s order will result in the dismissal of two shareholder derivative lawsuits associated with the underlying class action lawsuit, according to statements from the plaintiffs’ attorneys in recent court filings in those cases. FPI will continue to pursue its claims against the hedge fund that was involved in the short-and-distort attack.
“This class action litigation has hung over our Company for a long time, forcing us to spend considerable resources to defend ourselves from baseless accusations,” said FPI Chairman and CEO Paul Pittman. “Today, we can finally close this chapter and move on to doing what we do best – investing in high-quality farmland across the country and delivering for our shareholders.”
The court’s ruling in FPI’s favor can be read in its entirety at http://ir.farmlandpartners.com/Judgment.
About Farmland Partners Inc.
Farmland Partners Inc. is an internally managed real estate company that owns and seeks to acquire high-quality North American farmland and makes loans to farmers secured by farm real estate. As of the date of this release, the Company owns and/or manages approximately 185,000 acres in 19 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota and Virginia. We have approximately 26 crop types and more than 100 tenants. The Company elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, commencing with the taxable year ended December 31, 2014. Additional information: www.farmlandpartners.com or (720) 452-3100.
This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including, without limitation, statements with respect to expected yields on acquired farmland, our outlook, proposed and pending acquisitions and dispositions, the potential impact of trade disputes and recent extreme weather events on the Company's results, financing activities, crop yields and prices and anticipated rental rates. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may," "should," "could," "would," "predicts," "potential," "continue," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" or similar expressions or their negatives, as well as statements in future tense. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, beliefs and expectations, such forward-looking statements are not predictions of future events or guarantees of future performance and our actual results could differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Some factors that might cause such a difference include the following: general volatility of the capital markets and the market price of the Company's common stock, changes in the Company's business strategy, availability, terms and deployment of capital, the Company's ability to refinance existing indebtedness at or prior to maturity on favorable terms, or at all, availability of qualified personnel, changes in the Company's industry, interest rates or the general economy, adverse developments related to crop yields or crop prices, the degree and nature of the Company's competition, the timing, price or amount of repurchases, if any, under the Company's share repurchase program, the ability to consummate acquisitions or dispositions under contract and the other factors described in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, and the Company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking information presented herein is made only as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information to reflect changes in assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events, or otherwise.