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Rakia denies owning Imedi

By Mzia Kupunia
Friday, February 5
The Chief Executive of Rakia and Rakeen and deputy ruler of the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah, Dr. Khater Massaad, has denied that Rakia, Rakeen or any other RAK-related entity has bought Imedi TV, the Abu Dhabi based English-language daily newspaper The National reported on Wednesday.

“We have nothing to do with that. Why should I buy a TV station in Georgia? It’s a small country. Why do I need a TV station there?” The National quoted Dr. Massaad as saying in an article entitled 'A Riddle for RAK in Georgia'. The 'RAK' brand name, which has become synonymous with deep pockets in Georgia, has been co-opted by an imitator, he said, and the confusion had arisen from people assuming that the genuine RAK is connected with another company with a similar name. “There is somebody in Georgia who has created his own company with the name RAK Georgia Holding,” he said. “This company exists, but we have nothing to do with it. The problem is that I have not registered the name RAK as a brand,” he added.

The purported owner of Imedi TV Joseph Kay said in February 2009 that a local office of the Investment Authority of the United Arab Emirate Ras Al Khaimah had purchased 90% of the Imedi holding's shares. Kay still held the other 10%. In November 2009 Transparency International Georgia released a report which expressed concern at the lack of transparency in the ownership of media outlets in Georgia. This said that Imedi TV is wholly owned by Georgian Media Production Group LLC, 90 percent of which is owned by the RAK Georgia holding. “The legal structure of Rakeen and its subsidiary, RAK Georgia Holding, is not transparent and fuels allegations about the involvement of Georgian individuals in the enterprise,” the report says.

Imedi TV officials have not made any comment so far.