Hillmont Partners and Avellum Won in the Supreme Court, Having Successfully Defended the US investors Argentem Creek Partners and Innovatus Capital Partners
Argentem Creek Partners (ACP) and Innovatus Capital Partners (Innovatus), a US-based investment fund and an asset management company, specialise in emerging market lending. ACP and Innovatus have invested hundreds of millions of US dollars in Ukraine in recent years.
Hillmont Partners and Avellum won in the Supreme Court, which ruled to uphold the bankruptcy proceedings against Olimpex Coupe International and MetalsUkraine Corp LTD. The victory in the Supreme Court was a significant step in the course of protecting foreign investors from the misconduct of the former management of GNT Group of Companies (GNT).
The US investors were forced to initiate enforcement proceedings against GNT Group as a debtor under the facility agreements due to the Group’s systematic failure to perform its loan obligations. Despite multiple extensions granted by the US lenders, GNT Group did not even begin to perform its obligations to its creditors. Instead, the debtor initiated a series of actions aimed at illegally withdrawing assets and unreasonably recycling (destruction) of huge grain stocks without providing any supporting documents. This left the US investors with no choice but to resort to legal debt collection mechanisms.
In order to protect the assets, Madison Pacific Trust Limited, a credit agent acting on behalf of ACP, initiated bankruptcy proceedings against two GNT Group companies – Olimpex Coupe International Limited Liability Company (Olimpex) and MetalsUkraine Corporation Ltd (MetalsUkraine).
During first six months of 2023, the Economic Court of the Lviv Region opened bankruptcy proceedings against Olimpex and MetalsUkraine, appointed bankruptcy trustees and imposed a moratorium on settlement of creditors’ claims.
On 15 November 2023, the Supreme Court, represented by judges of the Economic Court of Cassation, ruled in favour of Madison Pacific Trust Limited on the cassation appeal filed by the former owners of GNT Group against Olimpex, and on 16 November 2023 on the cassation appeal filed against MetalsUkraine. The Supreme Court confirmed the validity and justification of the decisions of the Economic Court of the Lviv Region and the resolutions of the Western Economic Court of Appeal.
These decisions will help prevent GNT Group from further illegally withdrawing the property of Olimpex and MetalsUkraine, which are involved in the grain corridor. This will help to keep a significant number of jobs and maintain substantial revenues to the state budget of Ukraine, which is important for the smooth operation of the port industry during the war.
On behalf of Hillmont Partners, the case was handled by teams of lawyers from the firm’s Kyiv and Lviv offices, led by senior partners Valentyn Zasukha and Andrii Nyzhnyi and Andrian Artsishevsky, partner and head of the Lviv office.
On behalf of Avellum, the legal work on the case was led by senior partner Kostiantyn Likarchuk and partner Vadym Medvedev.