Sole owner of the ‘First Radio’ (FM 106.4), businessman Vasil Kobaidze has taken over 65% of the musical TV-company First Stereo. According to the data from the Public Register the Georgian Industrial Group, previous owner of the 65% of the First Stereo shares has “given up” its shares to Kobaidze on December 30 2011. On the same day Kobaidze also received 100% of First Radio LLC and Technonet LLC from Chemexim International registered in Marshal Islands. Director of the given offshore company is Robert Bezhuashvili, father of the Head of Foreign Intelligence Department Gela Bezhuashvili. Head of TV-company Mze Zaza Tananashvili is the director of Technonet.
Chemexim is the owner of the 100% of Chemexim International, which until December 6 2011 owned 30% of Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company and 45% of TV-company Mze.
Broadcasters started “changing hands” due to the April 2011 amendments to the Law on Broadcasters according to which offshore-registered companies have been prohibited to directly or indirectly own a broadcaster and broadcasters have been obliged to post information about owners on their websites “not later than January 1 2012.”
Vasil Kobaidze owns one more company – Energomagnat 2011, which is registered at the same address as the Georgian International Energy Corporation LLC, which in return is again owned by the Georgian Industrial Group.
Rest of the First Stereo shares are still owned by its Director David Zilpimian (22%) and his Italian partners Luca Kupoletti (10%) and Luca Severini (5%). In December 2011 David Zilpimian gave the Power of Attorney to Rati Chakvetadze. Chakvetadze’s Energoexport united with the above mentioned Georgian International Energy Corporation last June. New owner of Imedi TV GIorgi Korakhashvili and owner of Sakattvelo TV and Evrika TV Iago Chocheli are also connected to the given company. Georgian International Energy Corporation is the co-owner of their companies.
First Stereo property is currently distained. The reason for the distrainment is the nonpayment of the TV tower service fee of GEL 181 thousand to the state-owned Alfa Com, legal successor of the Georgian TV and Radio Center.