Bloomberg News

Iranian Investors May Buy Georgian Bank From Soccer Star Kaladze

November 04, 2011

Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Fast Plus, a Georgian trading company with Iranian partners, seeks to buy a bank in the Black Sea country from soccer star Kakha Kaladze.

“My Iranian partners and I are in talks right now to purchase the bank,” Nazi Alasania, founder of Fast Plus, said by telephone in the capital Tbilisi today. “I can’t disclose the price, but we expect the process to be completed by the end of this month.”

Kaladze, who plays for Genoa C.F.C. in Italy’s Serie A, confirmed Fast Plus’s interest in Progress Bank, though he declined to comment on the discussions. “The bank belongs to me 100 percent,” he said by text message. “If I decide anything, I’ll make it public. I’m also in talks with a European group, but I can’t reveal the name.”

In April 2008, four months before Georgia’s five-day war with Russia, Kaladze, then playing for AC Milan, announced plans to raise $1.5 billion to invest in Georgia. The project, which had the support President Mikheil Saakashvili, has so far yielded few concrete results.

--Editor: Patrick G. Henry

To contact the reporter on this story: Helena Bedwell in Tbilisi at hbedwell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net


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