The family of late tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili will no longer claim ownership over Imedi TV station, according to a deal reached with the Georgian government, the both sides have said.
The deal will also apply to Mtatsminda Park in Tbilisi – another asset, previously disputed between the late tycoon’s family and the government.
Details of the deal, signed by Deputy Justice Minister Tina Burjaliani and Bari Patarkatsishvili’s widow Ina Gudavadze on July 6, were not released.
“Our family is glad that with this agreement an end has been put to years of dispute,” Ina Gudavadze said in televised remarks, after signing the agreement in presence of journalists from Imedi TV, Rustavi 2 TV, GPB and Real TV.
“An end has been put to all the disputes [between the Patarkatsishvili family and the government] and I would highlight the one, which was ongoing in the international arbitration,” Tina Burjaliani said after signing of the agreement.
In a written statement released after signing the deal, the Patarkatsishvili family said that it had decided to end three-year old dispute with the Georgian government in the international arbitration over “compensation of damage originating from the loss of Imedi TV and Mtatsminda Park.”
The agreement was made possible as a result of “reciprocal compromise,” it said.
“The family has agreed to withdraw all of its complaints filed [in the international arbitration] against the Georgian government and third parties regarding broadcasting company Imedi and Mtatsminda Park,” the statement said, adding that the family still reserves the right to continue challenging claims by Joseph Kay over ownership of other assets outside Georgia.
Joseph Kay is late tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili’s distant relative, who after Patarkatsishvili’s death in February, 2008 announced, that he had the power of attorney to manage Patarkatsishvili’s assets. In addition, he gained ownership over Imedi TV in dubious circumstances after Patarkatsishvili’s death.
In February, 2009 Joseph Kay claimed that he sold 90% of his shares in Imedi TV to a local unit of Investment Authority of the UAE’s Ras Al Khaimah emirate (RAKIA). Since then the latter was believed to be majority shareholder of the Imedi TV, but year later, in February 2010 RAKIA chief executive denied his company had ever bought shares in Imedi TV. 90% of Imedi TV shares are in fact owned by offshore-registered firm with the name RAAK Georgia Holding and 10% by Joseph Kay.
As far as Mtatsminda Park is concerned, the asset was seized by the Georgian authorities on November 7, 2007 – the day when anti-government protest rallies were broken up and when police raided Imedi TV station. The park was seized after Tbilisi city municipality canceled a 49-year leasing contract with a company affiliated with Patarkatsishvili. It was announced in July, 2008 that Rakeen, the real estate development arm of the UAE’s Ras Al Khaimah emirate, had taken over the Mtatsminda amusement park. Rakeen Georgia has confirmed that it signed an agreement with the Tbilisi city municipality in June, 2008 to lease the park for a 49-year term.
The Patarkatsishvili’s family also said in the statement on July 6, that as a result of the agreement with the government, it would be able to resume “economic and charitable activities, which were launched by Badri Patarkatsishvili” in Georgia.