Naumenko, GNT Group’s owner: We are willing to repay the loan to the Argentem Creek Partners and Innovatus in any civilized manner

GNT Group stated that an attempt to block the grain terminal’s operations in the port threatens the grain corridor’s operation
GNT Group stated that an attempt to block the grain terminal’s operations in the port threatens the grain corridor’s operation
Photo: biz.censor.net

GNT Group is prepared to repay the loan to its creditors, Argentem Creek Partners (ACP) and Innovatus Capital Partners (Innovatus), in any civilized manner. Volodymyr Naumenko and Sergiy Groza, the owners of the GNT Group, stated this in their interview with Censor.Net.

“First of all, I would like to reiterate that the GNT Group and both of us, as its owners, are willing to repay the loan to both ACP and Innovatus Capital Partners (Innovatus), the other creditor, in any civilized manner... State authorities have heard us and suggested that they mediate this conflict. We are willing to interact openly. So far, we have not seen this willingness on the part of ACP and Innovatus,” Naumenko stated.

The businessmen told that the loan of $75 million was obtained from the ACP in 2019 against the pledge of the company’s corporate rights, whose value was much higher than the loan amount. The $20 million loan from Innovatus was received in 2021; it was secured by the double amount in grain and corporate rights. The repayment of these loans encountered difficulties due to the war with Russia; however, the commencement of the grain corridor operation gave rise to opportunities to settle the loans. However, the creditors suddenly initiated the debt enforcement in late December, amidst the grain corridor’s operations, the GNT Group’s owners stated.

“We kept negotiating the debt restructuring in the first half of December not to lose the GNT Group’s working capital, as its loss would worsen its performance indicators... However, by all appearances, the creditors started with the company’s hostile takeover in late December. Their aggressive modus operandi took us by surprise because it was absolutely unnecessary,” Groza said.

In the company owners’ opinion, these actions endanger the operation of the grain corridor.

“An attempt to block the grain terminal’s operations in the port threatens the grain corridor’s operation and, accordingly, Ukraine’s performance of its international food security commitments,” Naumenko indicated.

He added that the grain is being shipped from the Group’s grain terminal in Odesa Commercial Seaport under the control of the GNT Group employees, who ensure the grain corridor’s uninterrupted operation.

“Neither [the regional manager of Argentem Creek Partners Mr. John] Patton nor the Ukrainian lawyers with nil experience in the logistics market that he appointed to the companies unlawfully can do this job,” Naumenko emphasized.


The GNT Group stated that the company would appeal against unlawful decisions by registrars and courts initiated by the ACP to prevent the grain terminal operations from being blocked. The Group’s owners believe that, by doing so, the creditors are trying to devalue the business for the subsequent non-transparent resale of the company’s assets to an interested third party.

In January 2023, Interfax Ukraine reported that Kernel signed an agreement with its creditors to exempt two tranches of guaranteed loans of $300 million each from repayment until June 30, 2023. According to the holding’s notice to the Warsaw Stock Exchange, the deferral of the debt repayment was needed due to difficulties caused by russia’s invasion of Ukraine to the grain and oil export logistics.

Latifundist.com reported in October last year that Nibulon engaged Lazard, the world’s largest independent investment bank, to audit the company and restructure its debt. The company’s debt to financial institutions, including the International Finance Corporation and the EBRD, totals about $500 million.

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