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Argentem Creek Partners: what is known about the company, scandals and Russian trace

  • News
  • Thursday, 30 May 2024 11:19

ACP was founded in 2015 with the goal of providing responsive financial solutions to emerging markets. The CEO of the company is Daniel Chapman, who has been running the company since the beginning.

The company has offices in financial centers such as Buenos Aires, London, Minneapolis and New York. In July 2022, Argentem Creek Partners opened its headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

According to foreign media reports , he has close relations with Russian business.

Activities

Argentem Creek Partners invests in projects and companies operating in high-growth economies, providing financial support to corporations to implement their business plans. Journalists say that the ACP finances companies and countries in financial difficulties and invests in projects with high profit potential.

In particular, economist Alexander Okhrimenko noted that the company is using the martial law in Ukraine for useful purposes. "It is clear that Argentem Creek Partners’ goal is simple - to take advantage of martial law and take ownership of a worthless business," he wrote about one of the lawsuits in which the company is involved.

The company is often accused of unfair practices against its counterparties around the world. In particular, counterparties of Argentem Creek Partners stated that, in addition to an aggressive black media campaign against opponents, ACP can attract local officials and political figures to achieve its results.

ACP is also accused of operating according to approximately the same formula: an unscheduled demand for debt collection in a crisis situation - an aggressive media campaign against the debtor - a lawsuit - the transfer of the debtor’s assets to an interested third party.

Famous cases and scandals

In 2020, Kazakhstan, through American lawyers, filed a lawsuit against Argentem Creek Partners and the fund’s CEO, Daniel Chapman, in the Southern District of New York. The fund was accused of covering up fraudulent activities on the territory of Kazakhstan, providing financial and legal support to persons accused of deliberately bringing the bonds of legal entities under their control to default. ACP was supposed to receive up to 70% of the benefits from the unreturned bonds from the fraudsters.

In 2020, ACP, along with two other investment funds AllianceBernstein and Moneda, asked the Brazilian sugar producer GVO (formerly Grupo Vigolino de Oliveira) for an early payment on bonds worth $750 million. GVO offered negotiations, but the company was refused a restructuring and was asked to reorganize and go bankrupt. After this, a long legal process began, and in 2021, the court of the municipality of Santa Adelia in the state of São Paulo rejected the claims of creditors and declared that there was no need for bankruptcy of GVO.

Since 2019, the Fund has been litigating large Indonesian coal miner Berau Coal Energy in the New York State Supreme Court. The company tried four separate additional rounds of debt restructuring in Singapore, but Argentem blocked those attempts and forced the Indonesian company into bankruptcy.

Ukrainian experience

Argentem Creek Partners has been working with Ukrainian companies for more than 10 years, since the domestic high-risk market meets the fund’s business model.

Since 2013, the creditor has demanded repayment of the debt from the Ukrainian metallurgical company Interpipe, owned by Ukrainian businessman Viktor Pinchuk. A year before the war, the company began to experience difficulties due to depression in the pipe rolling market and restrictive measures by the Russian Federation. Lenders demanded early repayment of the bonds, but due to even more aggressive tactics of the Ukrainian company, the debt was restructured, payment was completed in 2019.

Since 2014, ASR has demanded the repayment of the debt from the Ukrainian metallurgical giant Metinvest, Rinat Akhmetov. The metallurgical company received a serious blow after the Russian occupation of parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in early 2014 . However, debt restructuring was carried out and Metinvest completed payments in 2017 .

Since the end of 2022, the investment fund has had a corporate conflict with the Ukrainian agricultural holding GNT Group. ACP accuses Ukrainian farmers of violating the loan agreement; Ukrainian businessmen declare the desire of the American fund to carry out a raider takeover of the Odessa grain terminal.

After the start of the full-scale invasion, the Ukrainian agricultural holding was informed within 24 hours of the need for early repayment of the loan, after which an aggressive media campaign and litigation began .

As regional partner of Argentem Creek Partners John Patton noted, the fund received support from the Ukrainian authorities and representatives of the prosecutor’s office on the issue of the Odessa grain terminal. What the foreign businessman meant remains a question. The media also write about the participation in the corporate conflict of the head of the Servant of the People faction, David Arakhamia, who stated that he met with representatives of Argentem in Vienna in November 2022 .

In April 2024, ACP was accused of attempting to raid the assets of GNT Group. For this, the media write, the company attracted a Georgian-Moldovan oligarch with a Russian passport, Vazha Jashi , who, according to journalists, has close ties with Russian and Georgian criminal groups.

Connection with sanctioned Russian business

Since 2022, Argentem Creek Partners has a joint project with ACG Mining Limited (a consulting and investment company in the mining industry) - this is ACG Acquisition Company Limited. ACG Mining Limited is run by Artem Volynets, a former top manager of the Russian aluminum giant Rusal , owned by Oleg Deripaska (under US sanctions since 2018 due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine).

The media write that ASR’s ties with the Russian Federation do not end there .

In 2024, Argentem Creek Partners provided a $20 million venture loan to Salmon, a Philippine fintech company co-founded by Russian businessmen Pavel Fedorov and Georgy Chesakov. The former is described by journalists as the “right hand” of the controversial Russian top manager Igor Sechin, who worked as vice president of the mining giant Norilsk Nickel and vice president of Rosneft, an oil company that is 70% owned by Russia.

The second, as noted online, built his entire career in the Tinkoff Group, whose main asset - Tinkoff Bank - was included in the tenth package of EU sanctions against Russia at the beginning of 2023.