Giorgi Arveladze, a longtime close ally of President Saakashvili and former government member, has become general director of Georgia Media Production Group (GMPG), a holding uniting Imedi television and radio stations.
GMPG was established by a local unit of UAE’s Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) emirate’s investment fund, after the latter purchased 90% of Imedi TV and radio stations, for undisclosed price in February, 2009. The Imedi TV and radio stations’ ownership remains disputed by its late founder Badri Patarkatsishvili’s family.
Giorgi Arveladze said in comments aired by the Imedi TV on July 13 that he assumed purely managerial tasks and would not interfere in the media holding’s editorial policy.
Arveladze has been a close ally of Mikheil Saakashvili from the time when the latter served as Justice Minister in ex-president Shevardnadze’s administration in 2000-2001. After the 2003 Rose Revolution he became a lawmaker and served as chief of the President’s administration since 2005, before he was appointed as Economy Minister in 2006. After the cabinet reshuffle in January, 2008 Arveladze quit active politics and become engaged in private business.