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10.01.2012 18:46

Company Owned by Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Spouse as Broadcaster Managing Company

Maia Tsiklauri
ეკატერინა ხვედელიძე და ბიძინა ივანიშვილი (photo: )

Billionaire BidzinaIvanishvili’s Public movement Georgian Dream has paid GEL 4 thousand as salary to LashaShonia, Company Igrika General Director.  Igrika has been founded by Ilia (Bacho) Kikabidze, Maestro TV Director General.  On September 9 2011 Igrika obtained license for broadcasting via cable network and on December 23 2011 the National Communications Commission also granted it the right of satellite broadcasting.  At that time Kikabidze told media.ge that negotiations with certain partners were underway and he was planning to launch two TV channels.  Business Register data shows that on December 12 Ilia Kikabidze’s 100% share management right has been given to Accept LLC through December 31 2013.  On the same day head of Accept LashaShonia took office of Igrika Director. 

BidzinaIvanishvili’s spouse Ekaterina Khvedelidze owns 80% of Accept LLC shares; the other 20% are owned by KakhaKobiashvili.  Kobiashvili is the top manager of Ivanishvili’s companies – Kartuli Holding (Georgian Holding) and Holding Otsdameerte (Holding Twenty First).  Kartuli Holding is the sole owner of Ivanishvili’s public movement Georgian Dream.  According to the data publicized by the Control Chamber on January 10, Shonia has received salary of GEL 4 thousand from Georgian Dream; although it is not précised for what services he has received this salary.  Georgian Dream representatives claim they do not know who LashaShonia is.  Head of Ivanishvili’s Press-Service Nona Kandiashvili promised media.ge to clear Shonia’s status. 

According to the contract between Accept and Igrika the managing company is obliged to attract investments and the shareholder is to pay 15% of profit to the managing company at the end of business year.  The contract does not say what amount has Accept paid for Igrika management right.  Media.ge was not able to receive the given information from Ilia Kikabidze as Maestro TV Director General and Igrika owner is not currently in Georgia. 

Media has been reporting allegations on BidzinaIvanishvili’s intention to purchase a TV-broadcaster.  In December 29 2011 issue Rezonansi newspaper wrote that all the necessary equipment for the TV-channel has already been purchased, but has been suspended at Georgian Customs.  At that time head of Ivanishvili’s Press-Service Nona Kandiashvili denied the given information. 

Media.ge has obtained information that Ivanishvili’s Press-Secretary IrakliTripolsky and LashaShonia have met with Caucasus University Media School students and have proposed them cooperation.  According to students Ivanishvili’s representatives said that it is planned to create an Internet TV and would like to cooperate with beginner journalists.  They have not précised when it is planned to launch broadcast. 

LashaShonia has worked in the technical department of the Ninth Channel.  IrakliTripolsky was the Head of the Ninth Channel and now he is BidzinaIvanishvili’s Press-Secretary.  Ninth Channel, owned by BidzinaIvanishvili, operated during 1999-2004.

BidzinaIvanishvili announced intention to create a broadcaster at the time of entering politics.  He invited all journalists dismissed from work for being objective and unbiased to work in the headquarters, information center of his political party.  Information center was to unite a TV, radio, newspapers and Internet media outlets.  Ivanishvili also proposed to invest into TV broadcasters: 

“I will buy any Georgian TV-company which has a license to broadcast information programs,” Ivanishvili wrote in his first, October 7 letter.

Ivanishvili proposed to pay three times the market value of broadcasters to owners.  He also promised to sell back a company back to its former owners for one GEL.  Ivanishvili additionally promised broadcaster owners to increase average value of their company by 15%.  

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