Argentem Creek Partners
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Argentem Creek Partners (ACP) is a US based investment company with resources in Abu Dhabi, Buenos Aires, London, Minneapolis, and New York.

Argentem Creek Partners LP is an emerging markets specialist investment firm. The Firm invests in special situations, private credit, high yield, and bespoke capital solutions across the capital structure. Argentem focuses on delivering value for investors, partners, and the local communities.

ACP is recognized for investing in complex situations and or challenging markets and jurisdictions. The firm specializes in finding strategic and high-quality assets (in sectors such as natural resources, production, agriculture, and related infrastructure) that provide significant value upside. The investment strategy is executed through leading and implementing restructurings of balance sheets, capital structures, governance, or identifying market dislocations. The team accredits its successful track record to a disciplined, bottom-up investment approach and an extensive network of relevant local global partners.

Argentem Creek Partners was founded in 2015 by Daniel Chapman and his team at Black River Asset Management, a former subsidiary of Cargill Inc. Since inception the team has invested $2.5bln across over 75 corporations and 20 countries.

Argentem Creek Partners in Ukraine

Argentem Creek Partners has been operating actively in the Ukrainian market since its inception in 2015 and the team has had experience in Ukraine starting a decade prior. ACP has invested more than 600 million US dollars in various sectors of the country's economy, namely, in the development of the food, transport, and metals industries.

ACP seeks special situations opportunities, which can include distressed situations where the team helps restructure companies that have limited access to international investment or financing but have good management and prospects. ACP uses investing to impact the development of companies positively and lastingly in its portfolio with an emphasis on governance, transparency and employing best business practices.

ACP is known in Ukraine due to its successfully implemented investment projects for enterprises such as Mriya, Interpipe, DTEK Energy, Lemtrans, as well as other projects for leading companies.

Argentem Creek Partners Projects in Ukraine

GNT Group

GN Terminals (GN Terminal Enterprises Ltd) is registered in Cyprus and is part of the GNT Group. This is a vertically integrated agri supply chain and services group, including sea freight stevedoring through the port of Odessa. The company owns the Ukrainian OOO Olimpex Coupe International. The ultimate beneficiaries of Olimpex Coupe International and the GNT Group holding are Vladimir Naumenko and Sergei Groza. GN Terminals processes and stores agricultural products in Ukraine through an internal network and operates some of the largest export terminals in Ukraine. Currently, Argentem Creek Partners is an active participant in the grain corridor. ACP has a significant stake in the capital structure of GNT.

In December 2019, Argentem Creek Partners invested in the development of a large grain marine terminal and logistics hub in Odessa (GN Terminals).

ACP's initial goal of improving governance and transparency of GN Terminals' operations has not been achieved to date and in fact the company chose to use the war to become less transparent resulting in ACP’s decision to enforce its security.

The regional head of ACP - John Patton spoke in detail about the current situation with the GNT Group in an interview

Which strategies are used by Naumenko and Groza

A journalist's investigation was published recently. It indicates that thanks to the received loan funds, the owners of the GNT Group repaid their debt to the EBRD, expanded their business, and began to engage in trading. At the same time, while making a profit, Naumenko and Groza took one’s time to give money to creditors. As said by the journalist: "Odessa’s use all the classic legal tools that exist in Ukraine to avoid paying debts".

According to his opinion, the general strategy of actions of Naumenko and Groza consists of the following steps:

- No way to repay debts.

- To register all property to other companies and continue to work.

- Investors should throw empty "shells", which previously had the results of the terminal, grain, and equipment.

As the journalist explained, the owners of the GNT Group have registered business with many companies, creating a kind of "impassable legal jungle." Thus, Vladimir Naumenko and Sergey Groza have reached the point that they actually do not have property themselves, because it has been reissued to other structures.

How events developed

At the end of 2021, when GNT Group was due to pay its loan obligations, it did not. Moreover, the group regularly violated the terms of the loan agreement with ACP, not even paying interest on the loan. At the same time, the management of ACP repeatedly went to a meeting with the GNT group, granting deferrals of loan payments.

Moreover, the leadership of GNT led by Groza, Naumenko and Denic used the full-scale war in Ukraine unleashed by Russia in February 2022 as an excuse for their inability to repay loans to American investors. The group continued to claim that it was not getting enough revenue from the sale of grain and sunflower seeds from its stocks due to spoilage due to the war, when in fact they were fine and sold at market prices, providing GNT with sufficient revenue. In December 2022, the American lenders appointed new directors across the GNT group, but faced a series of criminal acts by its already former management.

In particular, Groza and Naumenko created a network of offshore and Ukrainian companies with hidden debts, in which Ukrainian banks "Pivdenny" and "Vostok" were involved. These hidden debts were created to ultimately prevent foreclosure by US creditors should the GNT group default. At the same time, Groza and Naumenko illegally withdrew assets from the Olimpex Coupe International terminal through the above-mentioned banks at an extremely low value. In particular, half of the terminal in Odesa Sea Port was sold through a fictitious foreclosure to firms from the Sanolta group of companies for only 4.3 million US dollars compared to its real estimated value of about 350 million US dollars, and then mortgaged to companies controlled by Groza and Naumenko from GNT.

In January 2023, the High Court of England issued a Worldwide Asset Freezing Order (WFO) against Groza and Naumenko to prevent further embezzlement of assets. In addition, the Cyprus police opened their own investigation into the illegal withdrawal of GNT assets.

The law enforcement authorities of Ukraine also took up the investigation of the episode with the illegal expropriation of the Olimpex terminal." In particular, complaints were filed with the Anti-Raiders Commission of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine regarding violations in the implementation of registration actions organized by GNT through the "Pivdenny" and "Vostok" banks. As a result of the consideration of these complaints at the beginning of 2024, the Ministry of Justice decided to satisfy them, confirming the existence of violations during the registration of ownership of half of the grain terminal "Olimpex" and "Dry Port" by companies from the "Sunolta" group.

Therefore, the specified property should be re-registered to Olimpex Coupe International, which will allow these assets to be used to satisfy the claims of Argentem Creek Partners LP. In addition, on May 28, 2024, representatives of Groza and Naumenko also attempted to manipulate the Register of Legal Entities by entering into the Register the new director of Olimpex, Oleksandr Dyatlev, who was appointed in violation of the current court injunction of May 27, 2024. Despite the court ban, the state registrar of the Petroviriv village council of the Bereziv district of the Odesa region Tkachenko changed the director of Olimpex LLC to Oleksandr Dyatlev in the Register of Legal Entities. Dyatlev is the director of one of the companies of Serhii Groza and Volodymyr Naumenko — Cardinale LLC, he was the one who participated in the embezzlement of assets on their behalf. According to open data, in early 2023, 100% of the shares of Cardinale LLC were illegally transferred to the Swiss company GNT Europe SA, which belongs to the financial director of the GNT Group, Dušan Denić.


Interpipe Group is a Ukrainian manufacturer and supplier of steel products. The company operates five steel mills in Ukraine that process scrap and produce railway wheels, stainless steel pipes, ERW steel pipes. The company’s steel production exceeds 750,000 tons per year. ACP invested in Interpipe in 2017 and worked with other stakeholders to lead the restructuring that helped the company recover from the losses in the Russian market in 2014. The restructuring helped normalise the company’s operations and secured its future and the jobs it supports.

DTEK Energy

DTEK Energy, the largest thermal generation company in Ukraine, manages generation and coal mining for DTEK, DTEK Renewable Energy manages DTEK Group's renewable energy assets and is the largest green energy investor in Ukraine. Three wind power plants and three solar power plants with one gigawatt of solar and wind power are the largest in Ukraine, and two solar power plants are among the five largest solar power plants in Europe. ACP has invested in DTEK Energy bonds since 2017.


Lemtrans, Ukraine's largest private rail operator specializes in freight transport and operates more than 20,000 gondola cars carrying over 52 million tons of cargo per year.
Lemtrans also owns maintenance and technical facilities. Lemtrans continues to invest in new gondola cars and repair of rolling stock, to date, investments amounted to over $500 million. In September 2018, Argentem Creek Partners purchased leases related to Lemtrans from a bank that was winding down. This allowed Lemtrans to eliminate uncertainty surrounding its leasing arrangements. This investment has been fully realized.

Large Ukrainian agricultural holding MRIYA

In August 2014, when the Russian Federation invaded eastern Ukraine, MRIYA, one of the largest agricultural holdings in Ukraine defaulted on its bonds and loans after years of financial success and robust growth performance. The holding reported that it worked with a total land bank of 320,000 hectares in areas in Western Ukraine.

Following the default, significant mismanagement and misappropriation of funds were discovered, and the company's debt of over $1 billion was put up for sale at significant discounts. Argentem Creek Partners purchased debts from a variety of holders and led the restructuring and turnaround of this agribusiness.

Implementing the company's restructuring strategy over a four-year period starting in 2015, ACP worked closely with the company's new management to create a profitable and transparent agribusiness managed by Western standards. In 2019, Argentem Creek Partners realized its investment when the firm was sold to a strategic investor in the agricultural sector in one of the largest transactions in that sector in Ukraine to date.

This project was successful and attracted additional investments from large strategic investors when it was sold and also created numerous precedents for debt restructurings. This was one of the first times that external creditors took control of a Ukrainian firm through an offshore bankruptcy process and had their claims recognized onshore. As a result of these activities, ACP achieved high standards of transparency and quality of management in the company, which allowed the team to successfully restructure a debt of almost 1 billion US dollars and save 1,500 jobs in rural areas. This investment has been fully realized.