Unlike Imedi TV, the ownership of the two other national television stations, Mze and Rustavi 2, remains unclear, the Georgian daily Rezonansi wrote on December 18.
“The authorities have been vigorous in finding out the owners and founders of only Imedi TV,” Rezonansi wrote. “They have not, however, expressed this kind of interest in respect of other television stations… We have known who was behind Imedi TV and we also knew that in some cases it was pushing the interests of its owner [Badri Patarkatsishvili], but we have no idea whose interests are being promoted by the other television stations.”
Mze TV and Rustavi 2 TV, according to documents submitted to the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC), are owed by Georgian Industrial Group (GIG) and GeoMedia Group.
GIG, which owns a 45% share of both stations, is a giant company with diversified business interests ranging from coal mining and energy to travel. Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili’s brother, lawmaker Davit Bezhuashvili, is a founding member of the group.
The remaining shares in both Rustavi 2 TV and Mze TV are owned by GeoMedia Group. The only information available on the company is that it is registered in the Marshal Islands.