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Gachechiladze Sells GWS Shares
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 19 Dec.'07 / 20:13

Presidential candidate Levan Gachechiladze of the nine-party opposition coalition has sold his 9% shareholding of Georgian Wines and Spirits (GWS).

Pernod Ricard, the majority shareholder with 90% of the company, bought Gachechiladze’s shares, plus the 1% owned by Gia Mshvidobadze.

“The Georgian partners in the company have decided to sell their shares, totaling 10%,” GWS board member Mshvidobadze told reporters before meeting with Pernod Ricard representatives in Tbilisi on December 19.

The figures involved in the deal have not been released. “Details are still confidential, but will be made public at a later point,” Mshvidobadze said.

The sale follows Gachechiladze’s announcement on December 6 that he would sell his shares to finance his election campaign. There were at the time unconfirmed reports that he owned 49% of the company.

GWS was founded by Gachechiladze in 1994. The company’s peak production was five million bottles a year with a turnover of USD 15 million.

“Production in recent years has declined to about one million a year; but speculation that the company is on the verge of bankruptcy is totally groundless,” Mshvidobadze said.

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