Rustavi 2 broadcasting company has bought shares of another Tbilisi-based TV station Mze (the Sun) Ė as a result a new Georgian media holding has been set up, the Rustavi 2 reported on January 4. Amount of the deal has not been disclosed.
According to this report Kibar Khalvashi, 100% shareholder of Rustavi 2 has bought 78% shares of Mze TV from the building materialsí production company SakCementi. Businessmen and parliamentarian Davit Bezhuashvili, who is brother of Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili, is behind SakCementi company.
According to the deal, which will be finalized on January 5, Kibar Khalvashi, who is a close friend of Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili, will own 78% of the new media holding; the rest 22% of shares will be under the SakCementiís ownership.
Founded in 1994 Rustavi 2 TV has become a leading television station in Georgia. As a result of the deal it will now reportedly control most of the Georgiaís growing TV advertisement market.
Rustavi 2 also reported that that as a result of this deal the Mze TV, which was founded in 2003, will most likely become entertainment television.
The new company will be the largest Georgian media holding, followed by Imedi holding, uniting television and radio stations, which is owned by an influential tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili.