Venezuela debt fund dispute triggers legal action

By ExpertInvestorEurope

UK distressed debt specialist Illiquidx filed legal proceedings against asset manager Altana Wealth and consultancy firm Brevent Advisory in July, it revealed recently.

Illiquidx has accused the firms of breach of contract and confidence in relation to the Altana Credit Opportunities Fund SPF (the ACOF Fund). Altana Wealth, its founder and chief investment officer Lee Robinson, along with Brent Advisory and its director Steffen Kastner have also been accused of trade secret and copyright infringement.

Failed joint venture. In June 2019, the firms signed a joint venture and non-disclosure agreements to launch a fund that invested in Venezuelan debt, but the partnership broke down a few months later. According to Illiquidx, there were “irreconcilable differences of opinion between the parties on investment strategy and corporate governance”. The firm alleges that the “defendants were trying to usurp the claimant’s role in setting up the [fund], after having obtained key confidential information on how and when to exploit the opportunities”. It was nearly seven months after the joint venture broke down that Illiquidx saw marketing materials for the ACOF Fund; which were distributed by Altana Wealth and, it alleges, contained information that was protected under the non-disclosure agreement.

Non-disclosure agreement breached. Illiquidx states that “the ACOF Fund was dedicated to exploit the investment opportunities disclosed to the defendants after signing the non-disclosure agreement”. It is seeking compensation and an injunction to prevent the defendants from using its proprietary information.