TBILISI, DFWatch–Agreement was reached on Monday between the owners of Maestro TV to allow the channel to continue using its logo, settling a several months long dispute.
The agreement was announced in a statement by Gia Gachechiladze (‘Utsnobi’), who owns 55 percent of shares in the TV company, and Maka Asatiani, a designer who owns 25 percent of shares.
It was one of the main demands by employees to reclaim the logo and name; for several days Maestro has broadcast without its logo.
Another point in the agreement was to dismiss Levan Gachechiladze as Director of Studio Maestro and appoint a neutral person as new director.
The joint statement by Asatiani and Gachechiladze lists the following points of the agreement:
- Logo and name will be restored;
- Parties will end making public statements until negotiations are over;
- In the negotiation process, both parties will have temporary administrators, who are Temur Gachechiladze, a former consultant for Gia Gachechiladze, and Zviad Zubiashvili;
- Immediately provision the financial liabilities of the company;
- Launch joint negotiations to form a management of the company.
“We hope that the negotiations will not end in a deadlock and the parties and employees, who guarantee non-terminated broadcasting, will not sacrifice everything for the dispute,” the statement reads.
Nanuka Chkuaseli, lawyer working for Levan Gachechiladze, told DFWatch that she cannot offer any additional details beyond the statements that have already been made.
The ownership dispute at Maestro started when singer Gia Gachechiladze became owner of a controlling package of shares on February 1. He then appointed Levan Gachechiladze, his brother, a businessman and former presidential candidate, as new director.
After a month of wrangling, the Public Registry registered Levan Gachechiladze as director general of Maestro March 7 and terminated the authority of the former director, Baia Gadabadze.
The dispute about the fate of Maestro continued under the rule of Gachechiladze. Maka Asatiani, who owns 25 percent of shares, didn’t let him inside the Maestro building, which she owns.
Meanwhile, Bacho Kikabidze, who claimed that the Maestro name and logo has belonged to him since 2011, wanted to launch a new broadcast called M24 and Maka Asatiani was ready to make the Maestro building available for the new channel. During this time, most of the journalists planned to work with Kikabidze’s new channel.
We were unable to get a comment from Kikabidze to find out if he still plans to launch M24.