Media Georgia LLC owned by former defense minister David Kezerashvili sold 40 percent of Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company shares after 5 days of purchasing them. The shares were sold to businessman Giorgi Karamanishvili. Karamanishvili also bought 50% of the television company Mze from the same company. The coinciding change was made in the Business Registry on 9 October 2012.
According to Georgian media Giorgi (Gia) Karamanishvili is a friend of President Mikheil Saakashvili. They studied in the same group in Kiev. President spoke about Karamanishvili in his speech made in 2005, when commenting to the so called presidential elections in Abkhazia.
“My friend Gia Karamanishvili had four houses in Gagra, Sokhumi, Bichvinta and Ochamchire; when they will return these houses to Gia Karamanishvili and he will be able to participate in elections that is when it will be possible to count the elections legitimate,” Saakashvili said.
According to Ukrainian media Georgian businessman Giorgi Karamanishvili owns restaurant Alazani in Kiev. According to Georgian government official website Karamanishvili was member of the Council created to support the Georgian National Investment Agency; ministers and Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava is also member of the given council.
According to the Business Register Giorgi Karamanishvili purchased Rustavi 2 shares (40%) for half million USD and 40% of Mze shares for USD 250 thousand.
5 days ago the same shares were sold to Kezerashvili’s company by Levan Karamanishvili, who before that owned 90% of both TV-Companies. Netgazeti reports that Levan Karamanishvili and Giorgi Karamanishvili are close relatives.
According to the Public Registry, due to the mistakes in documentation the change has not been registered yet. Namely, “there is no written consent from Levan Karamanishvili to selling of shares by Media Georgia LLC to Giorgi Karamanishvili.”
For the moment 50% of Mze and Rustavi 2 are still owned by Levan Karamanishvili; 40% - Giorgi Karamanishvili; 10% - Giorgi Gegeshidze. The change of shares has not been reflected in the Companies’ Declaration of Comformity, while the owners are obliged by the law to do so.
Giorgi Karamanishvili is a relative of well-known businessman Rezo Sharangia. His sister Nata Karamanishvili is Sharangia’s wife. Levan Karamanishvili and Rezo Sharangia are also business partners. They are representatives and members of the Board of offshore-registered companies Watertrail Industries, Delgado Resources and INvestico Aliiance which in return own communication company Beeline (Mobitel LLC.) Levan Karamanishvili’s father Konstantine Karamanishvili is among the donators to the United National Movement. He donated GEL 2 thousand to the given political subject before Parliamentary elections of 2012.