Elliott Seizes Argentine Navy Ship In Africa

Oct 4 2012 | 11:28am ET

In its ongoing war with Argentina, Elliott Associates has taken an Argentine navy ship.

The hedge fund has not launched its own military force nor adopted piracy as its latest strategy. Instead, its NML Capital affiliate convinced a court in Ghana, where the ARA Libertad was docked on a West African tour, to detain the training vessel.

Elliott and Argentina have sparred for more than a decade over the country's 2001 default on $95 billion in debt. Both sides have traded victories and defeats in the U.S. courts, including the freezing of Argentina assets in the U.S., as the hedge fund fights to be paid at par, rejected the huge haircut taken by most investors in the Argentine debt.

Argentina was predictably furious about the new front opened by Elliott.

"The vulture funds have crossed a new line in their attacks on Argentina," the country's Foreign Ministry said. "The Foreign Ministry has already approached the African nation to clarify the stunt pulled by the unscrupulous financiers."

Argentina called the court order an attempt "at international and local extortion."

Argentina's navy said the Libertad would not be able to leave Ghana—it is next due in Angola—until the court order is lifted.

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