Dinu Patriciu, Georgian Ex-PM Buy 91% Stake In Georgian Bk For $15M

Publish date: 23-09-2009
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Romanian businessman Dinu Patriciu and Georgia's former premier Lado Gurgenidze have acquired control over the People's Bank of Georgia (PBG), after purchasing 91% of the lender's shares in a deal reported at $15 million.

Liberty Investments Holding, owned by Patriciu and Gurgenidze, paid $15 million for a 91.218% equity interest in PGB, Georgian news agency InterPressNews reported.

Liberty is a recently established investment company focused on the financial services sector primarily in emerging and frontier markets, PBG said in a statement Tuesday.

The acquisition of the controlling equity interest in PBG is Liberty's first investment. The bank's release does not include the deal value.
"I am delighted to be working on this exciting new project with Lado Gurgenidze. Over the next few years, we intend to raise additional capital for Liberty and invest in one to two opportunities every year," said Dinu Patriciu, chairman of Liberty, in the press release.

Liberty CEO Lado Gurgenidze noted the Georgian bank has significant turnaround potential due to its large network and exclusive pensions franchise. He added Liberty's priority is to initiate the turnaround of People's Bank.

"We plan to invest additional capital ourselves. We do not intend to delist the bank from the Georgian Stock Exchange and may consider increasing its free float to 20%-25% over time," Gurgenidze said.


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