Lynx Ltd, a company wholly owned by business tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili, will challenge the Tbilisi municipality's decision to cancel a 49-year leasing contract with the company on the operation of the Mtatsminda amusement park in Tbilisi.
Giorgi Akhvlediani, vice-mayor of the capital, said on November 7 that the company had “violated numerous times” the terms of the contract and also had failed to pay a rental fee. He also said that the municipality would reimburse “the small amount” invested by the company.
In a press release disseminated by Irakli Rukhadze, chief executive of Salford Georgia - a management company for Patarkatsishvili's interests and assets in Georgia – Lynx Ltd rejected the municipality's claims, saying they were “baseless.”
“The Company strongly denies the claims… that only “small” investments were made to date,” the press release reads. “While the lease agreement between the Company and TCG [Tbilisi city government] calls for the investment of USD 5 million, in reality close to USD 25 million has been invested by the Company to date with additional investments planned in the near future. In fact, the Company has already paid over GEL 5 million in VAT to the Georgian government in connection with the rehabilitation of the park.”
The park on Mt. Mtatsminda, overlooking Tbilisi, had a so called 'soft opening' this September and, according to Lynx Ltd, had hosted up to 80,000 visitors before November 7, when it was closed down after, as Lynx Ltd said, “armed and masked units” took possession of the park.
“All the park employees were ordered to clear out of the park and a masked military unit was brought in to remove them by force,” it said.
Lynx Ltd has complained that the decision by the Tbilisi municipality to cancel the leasing contract had been made by by-passing the Georgian court system.
“The Company has taken certain steps already and will continue to defend its rights under the contract with TCG. Similarly, the Company will try to protect its assets worth many millions of dollars that still remain in the park, outside of the Company’s control.”