TV 9 director Luba Eliashvili. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Several persons have already expressed interest in buying Georgia’s Channel 9, which yesterday stopped functioning.

The TV station’s director Luba Eliashvili said to employees gathered outside its office building that several persons already have asked her to buy Channel 9, or TV 9, as it is also known. Some of them also want to buy the online news agency info9, but only the brand name.

She said she plans to meet with the current owners of TV9 and info9 in order to prepare a package, which they will offer to new potential owners. She also says that the package will include keeping the employees of both TV9 and info9.

Eliashvili noted that TV9’s equipment will be sold for a third of its actual worth.

The TV company Iberia, which was closed shortly after the Rose Revolution, is one of the potential clients. Eliashvili says Iberia plans to get back its frequency and is interested in purchasing TV9. Special police units broke into Iberia TV after Rose Revolution, after which it stopped functioning.

Vasil Maglapheridze, the former deputy general director of TV9, says that he plans to set up a joint stock company in order to purchase the channel. He told Interpressnews that he wasn’t aware that the channel has been for sale for all this time.

“There is a desire supported by about 2 000 people who said they are ready to take financial responsibility and buy the television station. This is a response to Bidzina Ivanishvili’s challenge to society,” he said, adding that people will buy the television station and it won’t be politically biased, as he thinks it was ‘awkward’ when the PM’s family owned it.

Only guards and cleaning personnel are left at the office of TV9 today. Former employees are gathered outside the office.

Yesterday, the PM said he and his family made a decision to close TV9 and info 9 on September 1 if new owners couldn’t be found by then. He said that the fact that the television station is affiliated with him and his family bothers him and for ten months they have been trying to find new owners, but in vain.

Later Eliashvili said on TV9’s last news program that the company stops functioning from Monday and will not wait until September 1.