The former owner of Caucasus Online Khvicha Makatsaria transferred his 51% stake to Hasanov a few days ago, who had purchased a 49% stake in the company for $61 million back in 2019.
The Georgian National Communication Commission (GNCC), the regulatory body overseeing broadcasting and electronic communications, says that Hasanov bought the shares of Caucasus Online ‘in violation of several lawsuits and today is the 100% illegal owner’ of the company.
The GNCC stated that even in 2019 the deal for the purchase of a 49% stake in Caucasus Online was not agreed upon with the commission in advance, therefore initiating punitive actions against Caucasus Online.
It demanded that the company reverse the transaction and restore the pre-sale status quo and to achieve this goal the GNCC appointed a special manager to Caucasus Online on October 1, 2020 until 49% of the alienated share of the company was returned to its original state.
However, the GNCC says that the court suspended the authority of the special manager and she could not return the shares to their original state.
In the meantime Hasanov has purchased the remaining 51% of Caucasus Online ‘in an expedited manner without the consent of the Communications Commission’, says the GNCC.
Caucasus Online’s most important physical asset is the Caucasus Cable System, a 1,200-kilometer fiber-optic cable (FOC) constructed along the bottom of the Black Sea by Tyco Electronics (today known as TE Subcom), that directly transits Internet traffic from Europe to the South Caucasus and the Caspian basin.