Overview of the main actors involved in the case.
The Republic of Kazakhstan
The Republic of Kazakhstan is a sovereign state of approximately 19 million citizens located within Central Asia. Kazakhstan was a member of the Soviet Union until it declared independence in 1991. Since then, the government has charted a path toward economic growth as a center for international business and foreign investment, particularly within its vast mining, petroleum, and natural gas sector. The government embarked on a series of business reforms that have opened up the country to investment, lowered barriers to entry, improved the business climate, and strengthened the rule of law within the country. As a result of these reforms, Kazakhstan is now ranked #25 on the World Bank’s “Doing Business” index, with the country performing particularly well in the categories of “starting a business,” “protecting minority investors,” and “enforcing contracts.”
Anatolie Stati and his son, Gabriel Stati, are Moldovan oligarchs who, between 1999 and 2000, purchased two Kazakh companies, KPM and TNG, that were licensed to engage in the exploration and production of oil and gas. The Statis are alleged to have stolen monies invested by noteholders, including Argentem Creek Partners, by fraudulently conducting inflated related-party transactions that stripped assets from KPM and TNG for the Statis’ personal gain. This fraud was supported by falsified statements made by the Statis to their auditor, KPMG, who in 2019 took the rare step of preventing any further, or future, reliance on the audit opinions by withdrawing the reports.
Ascom Group SA, 100% owned by Anatolie Stati, is a joint-stock company incorporated and headquartered in Moldova. Ascom held 100% of the shares in KPM and is a party to the Tractebel Contract.
Tristan Oil Ltd., 100% owned by Anatolie Stati, is incorporated under the laws of the British Virgin Islands. Tristan is a special purpose vehicle for the financing of the Statis’ operations in Kazakhstan through the issuance of the Tristan Notes.
The Tristan Notes are comprised of two tranches of notes issued by the Statis through Tristan, worth $300 million and $120 million, respectively, which were sold to noteholders on or about 20 December 2006 and 7 June 2007.
Kazpolmunay LLP (KPM) is a Kazakh company that was awarded a subsoil use contract for the Borankol field on 30 March 1999. KPM is a 100% subsidiary of Ascom.
Tolkynneftegaz LLP (TNG) is a Kazakh company which was awarded a subsoil use contract for the Tolkyn field on 12 August 1998 and the Tabyl block on 31 July 1998. TNG holds 100% of the equity interest in the LPG Plant. The company is a party to the Perkwood Agreement. TNG is a 100% subsidiary of Terra Raf.
KazMunayGas Exploration & Production was a Kazakh state‐owned oil and gas company and one of the bidders during the 2008 Project Zenith process for the acquisition of KPM and TNG.
Azalia Ltd. was a Stati-affiliated company at all relevant times and a party to the Tractebel Contract.
General Affinity Ltd. was a Stati-affiliated company at all relevant times. The company was used as a vehicle for the sales of crude oil and gas condensate.
Hayden Intervest Ltd., incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, was a Stati-affiliated company at all relevant times. The company is one of the recipients of the money channeled out of Kazakhstan through Perkwood and Azalia.
Perkwood Investment Ltd. was a Stati-affiliated company, incorporated in England on 14 September 2005 and dissolved on 5 March 2011, after filing dormant accounts during this period despite having received hundreds of millions of dollars from TNG. The company is a party to the Perkwood Agreement.
Terra Raf Trans Traiding Ltd. is a company incorporated under the laws of Gibraltar. The company was one of the claimants in the arbitration. It held 100% of the shares in TNG.
Montvale Invest Ltd. was a Statis-affiliated company at all relevant times.
Stadoil Ltd. was a Stati-affiliated company at all relevant times. The company was used as a vehicle for the sales of crude oil and gas condensate.
Renaissance Capital is a Russian investment bank that prepared the Information Memorandum during the contemplated sale of the Statis’ Kazakh assets.
Vitol FSU BV is a legal entity incorporated in the Netherlands. It is a holding company and vehicle through which the Vitol Group, one of the world’s largest traders of crude oil, holds interests in projects and joint ventures in the former Soviet Union. The company is a party to the Joint Operating Agreement between Ascom, TNG, and Terra Raf.
Daniel Chapman is the founder, Managing Partner, Executive Officer, and Chief Investment Officer of Argentem Creek Partners LP. Chapman conspired with the Statis for financial gain related to money Chapman and his companies lost as part of their business dealings with the Statis.
Argentem Creek Holdings LLC (Argentem Creek Holdings) is a limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of Delaware and founded by Daniel Chapman. Both Argentem Creek and its subsidiary, Argentem Creek Partners LP (Argentem Creek Partners), were spun off from Black River Assets Management LLC (Black River) in December 2015 as an employee-owned investment firm. Argentem Creek Holdings became the successor in interest of Black River and thus assumed ownership of notes issued by Stati-owned Tristan Oil Ltd. Upon learning of the alleged fraud by the Statis in 2012, Argentem Creek Holdings signed a Sharing Agreement with the Statis to share in the proceeds of any arbitral award against Kazakhstan, rather than report the fraud to authorities.
Pathfinder Argentem Creek GP LLC is organized as a limited liability company under the laws of the State of Delaware and is a general partner of Pathfinder Strategic Credit LP and Pathfinder Strategic Credit II LP. Pathfinder is ultimately controlled by Chapman and/or Argentem Creek Partners and helped to fund the Statis’ appeals in multiple enforcement proceedings in England and elsewhere.
ACP I Trading
ACP I Trading LLC (ACP I) is a limited liability company organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands. A July 2018 letter written by the Statis disclosed that costs related to the Statis’ appeals were funded in part by ACP I, which is believed to be managed by Argentem Creek Partners and ultimately Daniel Chapman.
King & Spalding
King & Spalding LLP is a global law firm. The law firm offered counsel to the Statis in the arbitration, a parallel arbitration with Vitol as counterparty and in the enforcement proceedings in England and elsewhere.