Imedi TV to Buy Maestro & GDS TV Companies

Imedi TV has released a statement regarding its negotiations with Maestro and GDS TV companies. Imedi says that they have successfully completed talks with Maestro TV and the company is to become a part of the Imedi holding.

“Negotiations are almost over with GDS. We hope that this deal will also end successfully. It should be noted that this deal doesn’t concern Georgian Dream Studio, which will remain in the ownership of its current owner,” the statement reads.

Media holding Imedi underlines that after rebranding, they will offer viewers renewed TV channels, which will be equipped with modern technology and answer to the demands of a large spectrum of viewers.

Maestro TV is owned by four people. At present 55 percent of shares belong to Gia Gachechiladze, a singer and TV personality, 25% of shares are owned by Maka Asatiani; Mamuka Glonti, one of the founders of Maestro TV, owns 15% of shares and 5% is owned by Eka Akobia.

Gachechiladze said that there was a financial crisis for the broadcaster and he had decided to sell his shares to Ina Gudavadze, the widow of former owner of Imedi TV, Badri Patarkatsishvili.

“Nothing illegal has happened; Maestro shareholders simply decided to sell their shares. I had no funds to manage the TV, so I decided to help Ina Gudavadze to form a media holding. I did not want Maestro TV to unite with Rustavi 2, so I sold my shares to Imedi,” said Gachechiladze.

Giorgi Gvenetadze, lawyer of another shareholder, Maka Asatiani, also informs that she sold her shares to Imedi TV.

Gvenetadze said that as Asatiani was holding only 25% of shares, she was not interested in the company and sold her share.

GDS, a Tbilisi-based television channel, is owned by the founder of Georgia’s ruling party, Georgian Dream (GD), and ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s son Bera. As Ivanishvili is considered by the opposition as an informal ruler of the country, there are suspicions that GDS is buying Maestro and Imedi.

The founder of Maestro TV, Mamuka Glonti, says the government is behind the process and wants to seize all free media outlets.

"We cannot interfere with this deal. I was told that if I did not sell my shares, they would increase Maestro capital and kick us out of the company… I see the government and Ivanishvili behind this,” Glonti claimed.

Thea Morrison

29 December 2016 19:23