The state-owned JSC Partnership Fund, which holds stakes in some of the major state enterprises, made changes in the leadership of Georgian Railway and Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) on November 27.
Oleg Bichiashvili has been appointed as the first deputy CEO of Georgian Railway. According to the company, Bichiashvili, who has “several decades of working experience” in Georgian Railway, will serve as an acting CEO of the company.
Irakli Ezugbaia, who served as Georgian Railway’s CEO for seven years, resigned in late October.
Konstantine (Koka) Guntsadze was appointed as new chairman of supervisory board of the Georgian Railway.
Guntsadze told Maestro TV on November 28, that making the Georgian Railway “free from political meddling” would be one of the priorities.
Guntsadze was an opposition lawmaker in 2004-2008 and was with various opposition parties and movements since then. Most recently he was with Voters’ League, an election watchdog group, which he co-founded in February 2012 specifically for October 1 parliamentary elections.
Earlier this year Georgian Railway, the country's one of the largest taxpayers and employers, was planning initial public offering of up to 25% of its shares on the London Stock Exchange, but it was postponed citing “challenging capital market conditions.”
Georgia’s new Minister for Economic Development and Sustainability, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, told Reuters that the government was looking into possibility of IPO of 25% of shares of Georgian Railway; he cautioned however that market conditions remained uncertain.
“We are talking about 25% stake in Georgian Railways... I think it will be a good benchmark for foreign investors to assess risks in the country," Kvirikashvili told Reuters.
There have also been changes in the top management of Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC), the state-owned enterprise which also operates the North-South Gas Pipeline transporting gas from Russia to Armenia via Georgia.
Partnership Fund appointed Davit Tvalabeishvili as a new CEO of GOGC, replacing Zurab Janjgava; the latter held the position since 2007.
There have been changes in leadership of Partnership Fund itself earlier this month. Former PM Nika Gilauri was replaced as head of the Partnership Fund by Irakli Kovzanadze, who was chairman of parliamentary committee for finance and budget in 2004-2008.