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Argentem Creek Partners and Innovatus Capital Partners Welcome High Court’s Decision to Retain Worldwide Freezing Order Against the Owners of Odesa Grain Terminal

[New York City, 13 February 2024] U.S. investment firms Argentem Creek Partners (“ACP”) and Innovatus Capital Partners (“Innovatus”) welcome the English High Court’s decision to maintain a worldwide freezing order (“WFO”) against Sergiy Groza and Volodymyr Naumenko, the owners of GNT Group and Olimpex Coupe International, a grain terminal in Odesa, Ukraine. ACP and Innovatus are creditors of GNT Group.

In a judgment handed down on 8 February 2024, Mr Justice Richard Jacobs was persuaded by arguments presented by Madison Pacific Trust Ltd, acting on behalf of ACP and Innovatus, stating that he was concerned about the “very real risk of dissipation [of assets].” He added that the case is “one where the evidence is as strong as any that I have ever seen” and he had “no doubt that it is just and convenient to grant the injunction”. He also stated that he had “not been persuaded that any of the matters relied upon by the Defendants [Mr. Groza and Mr. Naumenko] provide any substantial reason as to why no injunction should be granted.”

John Patton, Founding Partner – Head of EMEA & Asia at ACP said: “We are very pleased with the High Court’s decision and that the judge recognised there is very powerful evidence of a real risk of asset dissipation by Mr. Groza and Mr. Naumenko.”

Ana Firmato, Managing Director at Innovatus also commented: “Innovatus is happy with the decision reached by Mr. Justice Jacobs. The WFO is an integral part of holding Mr. Groza and Mr. Naumenko to account.”

This follows a decision in January 2024 by the Commercial Court of the Lviv Region to order the authority of the director appointed by GNT Group to Olimpex Coupe International to be terminated. The order was handed down on the grounds that the director was causing harm to the company. Specifically in its judgment, the court found that the director “deliberately concealed the actions already taken to alienate the debtor’s property, which were carried out five and two days before the opening of bankruptcy proceedings, respectively.” Furthermore, the court noted the director’s actions amounted to a “violation of the moratorium on meeting the demands of creditors and the deliberate violation of the balance of interests of the debtor and creditors” and “the concealment of the facts of foreclosure on the debtor’s property.”

ACP and Innovatus have a long-standing history of investing in Ukraine. Both companies remain committed in ensuring that this grain terminal is managed correctly within Ukrainian and international guidelines.




The official judgment can be accessed here: