Abu Dhabi Group has bought Georgian Standard Bank from the private equity group Salford Capital, which was close to Georgian billionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili who died last month.
“Salford capital is pleased to announce that its affiliates and partners have sold a 100 per cent equity interest in Standard Bank, a commercial bank operating in Georgia, to KOR Bank, a newly registered commercial bank in Georgia, wholly owned by Abu Dhabi Group,” Irakly Rukhadze, Standard Bank’s chairman, said in a statement. The value of the deal was not disclosed.
Georgian National (central) bank placed Standard Bank into temporary administration in November last year because of what it said were worries over its liquidity. Salford’s lawyers said the bank was being targeted because of apparent links to Patarkatsishvili, who was suspected by the Georgian government of trying to incite a coup in Georgia.
Patarkatsishvili, a billionaire opponent of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, died suddenly last month at his estate near London.
Abu Dhabi Group said last month it planned to invest several hundred million dollars in Georgia’s telecoms, banking, tourism and real estate sectors.
UAE’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Abu Dhabi Group Chairman Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan visited Georgia last month, Standard Bank said in a statement in Georgia.
Abu Dhabi Group has already invested in two sectors and has two projects in Georgia: One of them is JSC KOR Bank, Georgia, which has received the operations license from National Bank of Georgia.
The first branch of JSC KOR bank should be operational in six months. Around $10 million has been paid as a capital requirement for this banking licence,” group representative said.
“Another sphere of investment is in telecommunications market under the company name Warid Telecom Georgia Ltd. More than $80 million is expected to be invested in this sector till the end of 2008. License for Wi Max frequency was purchased three months ago for more than $10 million,” the representative added.
Another activity of the company will be hotel construction business. The representatives of the group are searching for a suitable place in Tbilisi central city for the construction of a five star hotel. The budget of the project is intended to be over $200 million and will be spent during three years. (Agencies)