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Argentem Creek Partners and Innovatus Capital Partners Welcome Verdict by Ukraine Western Commercial Court of Appeal in Bankruptcy Proceedings

New York, 4 April 2024 – U.S. investment firms Argentem Creek Partners (“ACP”) and Innovatus Capital Partners (“Innovatus”) welcome the Lviv, Western Commercial Court of Appeal decision to maintain an independent bankruptcy manager (in proceedings relating to Olimpex Coupe International LLC  (“Olimpex”), the company that operates the Olimpex grain terminal in Odesa as part of the GNT Group. ACP and Innovatus are creditors of Olimpex and other members of the GNT Group.

The bankruptcy proceedings at Olimpex are part of enforcement steps taken by Madison Pacific Trust Limited, in its capacity as security trustee for the loan made to the GNT Group by ACP and Innovatus, and recently appointed directors at Olimpex to protect the creditors’ position and the GNT Group’s assets from dissipation.

The decision to file for bankruptcy followed GNT Group’s material shortcomings with governance and transparency, the continued dissipation of assets both before and after enforcement proceedings began, and investigations into the still unexplained disappearance of nearly 400,000 tons of grain and sunflower seeds worth approximately USD $130 million and the company’s failure to repay its lenders.  The High Court of the United Kingdom upheld a Worldwide Freezing Order (“WFO”) in February 2024, noting the “very real risk of dissipation [of assets].”

John Patton, Founding Partner and Head of EMEA and Asia at ACP, said:

“For over a year, the GNT Group owners Groza and Naumenko, have been trying to undermine Ukraine’s judicial institutions, transparency standards and the rule of law.

“The Western Commercial Court of Appeal decision today marks a significant milestone for both Ukraine and its investment landscape. This is a strong positive signal to Ukraine’s foreign investors.”

Ana Firmato, Managing Director at Innovatus, added:

“This verdict reinforces the significance of protecting investors and upholding the rule of law, which are crucial for Ukraine’s early economic recovery and future reconstruction efforts.”

Today’s decision follows one made by the Commercial Court of the Lviv Region in January to terminate the authority of a director appointed by the GNT Group to Olimpex due to dissipation of Olimpex’s assets, evasion from providing documents and information necessary for the bankruptcy manager, and violations of the creditors’ rights and legitimate interests.

In November 2023 the Supreme Court of Ukraine upheld the opening of the bankruptcy proceedings initiated by GNT’s creditors. ACP and Innovatus have a long-standing history of investing in Ukraine and successfully rescuing companies that have been affected by fraud. Both companies remain committed in ensuring that the Olimpex terminal is managed correctly within Ukrainian and international guidelines.

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