Despite increased scientific interest in the phenomenon of large-scale land acquisitions (LSLA), accurate data on implementation processes remain sparse. This paper aims at filling this gap by providing empirical in-depth knowledge on the case of the Swiss-based Addax Bioenergy Ltd. in Sierra Leone. Extensive fieldwork allowed the interdisciplinary research team (1) the identification of different actors that are necessary for the implementation on a vertical level and (2) the documentation of the heterogeneous group of project affected people’s perceptions and strategies on a horizontal level. Findings reveal that even a project labeled as best-practice example by UN agencies triggers a number of problematic processes for affected communities. The loss of natural resources that comes along with the land lease and the lack of employment possibilities mostly affects already vulnerable groups. On the other hand, strategies and resistance of local people also affect the project implementation. This shows that the horizontal and vertical levels are not separate entities. They are linked by social networks, social interactions, and means of communication and both levels take part in shaping the project’s impacts.