« Murdoch tells Erdoğan interested in expanding investment in Turkey » – Today’s Zaman

Ruppert Murdoch. Source : Today's Zaman

« Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch on Tuesday afternoon in Ankara.

The Australian-American media mogul’s meeting with Erdoğan followed last month’s media reports that his News Corporation was planning to buy Turkish Çalık Holding’s Sabah daily and ATV station.

A Turkish official close to the prime minister told The Associated Press that Murdoch has expressed an interest in expanding investments in Turkey.

The official said Murdoch told Erdoğan during the meeting that he regarded Turkish media as an « important sector » for investments.

The Turkish official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, would not say if Murdoch expressed interest in acquiring Turkey’s ATV television and Sabah newspaper.

Murdoch in 2007 shared with the Turkish government that he “seriously contemplated the acquisition of Sabah and ATV” when they were put up for sale by the state’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF). Following confiscation by the TMSF of Turkish business tycoon Turgay Ciner’s Merkez Media Group in 2007, the Çalık Group acquired Sabah and ATV along with other smaller entities for $1.25 billion in 2008. The News Corporation’s Wall Street Journal said in late January that US media giant Time Warner Inc. and private equity firm TPG Capital are also interested in Sabah and ATV.

Murdoch’s reputation as a media tycoon was smeared by a scandal last year that even forced the British government to make a statement regarding its links to the mogul’s media empire. Following the discovery of systemic phone hacking made by Murdoch’s News International, police arrested dozens of reporters as well as a number of executives working for him. »

Source : Today’s Zaman

« Çalık: Turkey will grow by at least five percent » – Sabah

Source : Sabah

« Explaining that Turkey had one of the fastest growing economies in 2011, Çalık Holding Chairman of the Executive Board Ahmet Çalık, states, “Despite the uncertainties in Europe, this year the economy will still show at least five percent growth.”

Çalık Holding Chairman of the Executive Board Ahmet Çalık expressed that Turkey has now become a regional player due to its political stability, correct management and economic reforms. « Even in 2011, which was a difficult year for the world, Turkey is way above expectations and has become one of the limited numbers of fast growing economies. Despite the uncertainties of the global economy and especially in Europe, I think that Turkey will see at least four to five percent growth for 2012. » Çalık goes on to state that Turkey has decreased the single market risk and has opened into new markets. « The slow-down in Europe has been balanced by the strengthening of other markets. Meanwhile, the strong growth in our country and the increasing welfare has produced new opportunities, in addition to establishing a tolerance to the changes in the international market. Over the past ten years, Turkey continues to do the right things by continuously developing, and recognizing the risks and taking action. »

A 700 MILLION $ INVESTMENT

Ahmet Çalık also offered an assessment of Çalık Group’s objectives and stated, « We operate in 15 nations with over 20,000 employees. We have become exhausted by adapting to the special standards of each nation. We are used to crises and have developed resistance. If you are prepared then you will be able to handle the sunny days and the harsh winter conditions and you will know it is all temporary and will take precautions accordingly. »

Çalık also shared that in 2011; the holding saw a 20 percent increase in active growth and revenue increased by 50 percent and the company made 700 million dollars worth of investments. Ahmet Çalık went on to state, « With the exception of the big projects we currently have for this year, we also foresee making a 250 million dollar investment. »

WE WILL BE RETIRING OUR FIVE-YEAR BONDS AND WILL EMBARK ON NEW PROJECTS

Çalık goes on to state that the group has realized a total bond issue of 200 million dollars as well as fulfilled all commitments embarked on in their entirety. « In March, we will be retiring our five-year bond after which we will continue to look out for more projects. » This positive retirement and interest shows that if our group were to take out another bond, we would be able to obtain funds under much more suitable conditions. Even though there aren’t any plans as such at the moment, depending on the suitability to the conditions in the upcoming period, we could end up issuing a bond. »

Our projects contribute to urban renewal

Ahmet Çalık explained that they have begun working on the initial sales of Gap İnşaat’s Tarlabaşı Urban Renewal Project, while efforts to develop the Fener-Balat project continues, and states, « The first phase of the Metropol Istanbul project in Ataşehir has gone on sale. They have acquired significant interest and a nice sales graphics. Our Şehrizar Residents project in Üsküdar Burhaniye is an absolute gem with both its location and modern neighborhood concept. They will begin hosting their first residents at the end of the year. We are expecting to make over 500 million dollars in revenue from our projects which have already begun to sell. »

Proposals received by Turkuvaz contribute to our brand

Çalık explained that Turkuvaz Medya’s capital is growing and that both print and publishing quality has increased and stated that they have established a number of new brands. Çalık also revealed a series of sales details, explaining that according to the initial requests coming in for the brand they are seeing intense interest, Çalık states, « This represents our significant contribution to the brand. Of course the perception of Turkey that is developing abroad is also significant. » Ahmet Çalık also reminded that work on the Samsun-Ceyhan Petroleum Pipeline, the East Mediterranean Refinery and Petrochemical continue, while in addition to these projects, we also have electric and gas distribution companies as well as wind and HES projects available in our portfolio. »

Source : Sabah

« ATV sale hangs in the balance » – C21 media

« Low bids could scupper the sale of Turkish broadcaster ATV, media insiders in the country have warned, as Time Warner, News Corp and investment group Texas Pacific Group emerge as front-runners

An ATV source told C21 the station’s owner, Calik Holding, is thought to be seeking 12 to 15 times EBITDA for its ATV-Saba holdings, which includes the ATV channel, as well as newspaper and magazine assets.

With EBITDA at US$85m, this would result in an asking price of up to US$1.28bn. However, News Corp, Time Warner and TPG have so far tabled bids of up to around US$1bn for the Turkish asset, Reuters reported earlier this week.

“In my opinion, the bids that they submitted are below the expectations of the sellers. So I think there’s a chance that they might decide not to sell after all. They might just want to raise the value of their company for different reasons and see who’s interested,” said Endemol Turkey MD Ansi Elagoz.

Calik bought the ATV-Sabah holdings for US$1.1bn in 2007, though the firm is now understood to have hired Goldman Sachs to handle a sale.

An ATV source told C21 that the asset was definitely up for sale with initial bids entered last week. Negotiations could now run into the summer, the source said, though separate reports suggest the process may conclude by the end of the month.

RTL, which was also rumoured to be interested in buying the asset, is not thought to have tabled an offer.

News Corp already owns Turkish terrestrial channel Fox TV and in 2010 sold its Bulgarian TV business bTV to Central European Media Enterprises for US$400m. Time Warner and TPG were reported to have bid for Turkish conglomerate Dogan Holding’s Kanal D and Star TV assets last year, though neither reached an agreement.

IHS’s head of advertising research Daniel Knapp said that Turkey is attracting foreign interest as it, along with Russia, is a key growth market: “Recent years have shown that the Turkish TV market is an opportunity too good to miss. In 2010 the ad market grew by 40%. In 2011 we project it to grow by 22% in net terms, which is phenomenal. We don’t see this growth anywhere else.”

Yadigar Belbuken, deputy general manager and head programming at Fox International Channels Turkey, would not comment on News Corp’s apparent interest in ATV, but said: “There seems to be room to grow and I suspect there will be more international groups launching new channels or investing in the market, such as in ATV.” »

Source : C21 media

« TPG, News Corp, Time Warner bid for Turkey’s Çalık media » – Today’s Zaman

Photo : Cihan. Source : Today's Zaman

« TPG Capital, News Corp and Time Warner have placed bids for the media assets of Turkey’s Çalık Holding, which also has interests in energy and finance, three sources close to the matter told Reuters on Monday.

« TPG, (News Corp’s Rupert) Murdoch and Time Warner placed bids. I know TPG is very aggressive, » said a source close to the deal, adding the submitted bids were around $1 billion, near the asking price.

He said the sale process could be completed in February.

Çalık bought ATV-Sabah for $1.1 billion in 2007 from the Savings, Deposits and Insurance Fund (TMSF). Çalık took on $750 million of bank debt in April 2008 to finance that acquisition. »

Source : Today’s Zaman

« Murdoch a contender to buy Atv-Sabah » – Sabah

« According to Wall Street Journal, News Corp may be joining the likes of Time Warner Inc. and TPG Capital to offer bids for Sabah-ATV.

Çalık Group and its advisors at Goldman Sachs were seeking preliminary bids on Wednesday; however the deadline to bid for Turkey’s second largest media conglomerate has now been pushed back to next week, allowing for News Corp to also be a contender.

The sale process for the Sabah-ATV media conglomerate run by young prominent business leader Serhat Albayrak , which includes the highly competitive newspaper and television station as well as a series of popular magazines, has already received interest from U.S. media giant Time Warner Inc. and private-equity firm TPG Capital. According to The Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp will also be putting up a bid. Sources say Sabah-Atv is valued somewhere between $700 million and $1 billion. A bid from News Corp., which also owns The Wall Street Journal, could push the sales figure to the higher end of that range or above.

In 2008, Çalık Group, which also has interests in construction, energy, textiles, finance and telecommunications, acquired Sabah-Atv from the state for $1.25 billion. »

Source : Sabah

« Race for ATV-Sabah heats up as Murdoch joins in » – Sunday’s Zaman

« Friday’s report in The Wall Street Journal that Australian-American media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s giant News Corporation was mulling over acquiring Turkish Çalık Holding’s Sabah daily and ATV station will boost the competitors’ bids for the sale, observers argue.

Çalık recently announced he was putting Sabah and ATV on sale and that the US investment management firm Goldman Sachs was authorized for the sale. The WSJ quoted sources close to News Corp that the company last Wednesday demanded Goldman Sachs to extend the pre-proposal date for the sale, which gave Murdoch another week to come up with an offer. The WSJ also claimed the sale process has drawn interest from bidders including Time Warner Inc. and private equity firm TPG Capital. The offer could be between $700 million and $1 billion, and the presence of another bidder such as News Corp could increase the deal at the high end of that range or above, the WSJ report said.

This is not the first time Murdoch has voiced interest in the Turkish media market.

Murdoch and his partner Turkish-American music magnate Ahmet Ertegün’s Atlantic Records acquired Turkish Huzur Radyo TV AŞ. — the owner of TGRT TV — for $98 million in 2006. TGRT’s name was later changed to Fox TV and it continues operating under this name in Turkey. The mogul in 2007 shared plans with the Turkish government that he “seriously contemplated the acquisition of Sabah and ATV” when they were put on sale by the state’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF). Following confiscation by the TMSF from Turkish business tycoon Turgay Ciner’s Merkez Media Group in 2007, the Çalık Group acquired Sabah and ATV along with other smaller entities for $1.25 billion in 2008. In addition to top-rated entertainment station ATV and major daily Sabah, Çalık Group also currently owns smaller newspapers Takvim, Günaydın, Yeni Asır and Pas Fotomaç, radio station Radio City, 10 magazines and their properties, brand names and equipment. […] » »

Source : Sunday’s Zaman

« Murdoch’s News Corp. plans bid to buy Turkish media group » – Today’s Zaman

News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch holds a copy of The Sun and The Times as he is driven away from his flat in central London on July 11, 2011. (Photo: Reuters / Source : Sunday's Zaman)

« Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is considering a bid to buy one of Turkey’s biggest media groups, which owns the Sabah daily and popular TV station ATV, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), one of the media outlets owned by News Corporation.

The Turkish group is currently owned by Çalık Holding, a business conglomerate run by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law.

Çalık and its advisors at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. sought preliminary bids Wednesday but have pushed back the deadline until next week, in part to accommodate News Corporation, WSJ reported Friday, quoting unnamed sources that it said were familiar with the issue.

The value of Sabah-ATV is estimated to be between $700 million and $1 billion, according to the WSJ report.

The WSJ said US media giant Time Warner Inc. and private-equity firm TPG Capital are also interested in Sabah-ATV.

News Corporation, which owns a number of media outlets — including the Daily Telegraph, New York Post and Fox Broadcasting Company — in many countries, also holds the majority share of popular television station Fox TV in Turkey. »

Source : Today’s Zaman

« Calik media sale to get airing in February » – Reuters

By Seda Sezer and Asli Kandemir

* Goldman Sachs hired for sale -sources
* Comes after Calik placed on watch list by Fitch
* No problems redeeming $200 mln bond -company official (Releads with media sale)

ISTANBUL, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Turkish group Calik Holding may complete the sale of media assets ATV and Sabah in February, sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, a Calik official insisted the group would have no problem redeeming a maturing $200 million unsecured note after Fitch Ratings placed the company on a watch list due to refinancing concerns.

Calik hired Goldman Sachs this month to steer the sale of ATV and Sabah, according to sources close to the matter, who added the initial bidding round will close on January 18.

Private equity funds including TPG Capital and KKR & Co, along with Time Warner and RTL Group — Europe’s biggest commercial broadcaster — are among interested bidders, the sources said.

« Calik Group does not have a financing problem. It will make a strategic decision on whether to exit media. I do not think the process would take too long because Goldman Sachs studied the media sector very well and Calik is only talking to a very few investors, » a source close to the deal told Reuters.

« Bids will be collected until the beginning of February and the sale may finalise in February, » the same source said. Another source close to the matter also confirmed bids will be collected until February.

Goldman Sachs was last year mandated for the sale of assets of Turkey’s biggest media group, Dogan Yayin, and was hired for the separate process of selling its flagship Hurriyet newspaper.

The interested bidders for Calik assets were also on the shortlist for Dogan Yayin assets, but that sale did not happen.

Credit rating agency Fitch said on Tuesday it had placed the $200 million, five-year bond issued by Globus Capital Finance and guaranteed by Calik, on rating watch negative.

« There is no problem with the redemption. We will make the redemption, » a Calik Holding official told Reuters on Wednesday.

The redemption by Calik, which also has interests in energy and finance, is due on March 5.

The 8.5 percent bond has been falling in recent weeks, and was trading at a yield of almost 25 percent on Wednesday.

« Fitch assumes that Calik will need to get additional bank lines or external funding to meet the maturity which, to Fitch’s knowledge, have yet to be put in place, » the agency said.

It added the Sabah and ATV media assets were thinly capitalised, considering the competitive market they were in and the current and projected working capital needs.

Calik took on $750 million of bank debt in April 2008 to finance that acquisition. (Editing by David Hulmes)

Source : Reuters

« Çalık Group’s TV channels up for sale  » – Hürriyet Daily News

« TPG Capital, KKR & Co LP and Time Warner are in talks to buy media assets from Turkey’s Çalık Holding, which include Sabah newspaper and ATV television, four people familiar with the situation said, according to Bloomberg News.

Two sources said Germany’s RTL was also interested in such an acquisition, Reuters reported, adding that the initial offers will be collected through Jan. 18. “The price [Çalık] demands is nearly 15-fold of the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, which is really high,” one source said.

Çalık Holding hired Goldman Sachs Group to advise on the sale, said sources, who declined to be identified because the talks are private, Bloomerg reported.

Gavin Davis, a spokesman for TPG at public relations agency Pelham Bell Pottinger, did not return calls seeking comment. Turkuvaz Media Group, Çalık’s unit that owns daily Sabah and ATV channels, did not reply to emailed questions. Also, KKR did not answer emailed questions.

Time Warner’s chief in Turkey, Efe Onbilgin, did not respond to calls to his cell phone seeking comment. k HDN »

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

« Çalık Holding era for YEDAŞ » – Sabah

« With approximately 20,000 employees in the energy, telecommunications, finance, construction, textiles, media and mining industries, the Çalık Holding family has now added another massive company to their operations.

The Yeşilırmak Elektrik Dağıtım A.Ş. (YEDAŞ), which has approximately 700 employees who provide electricity distribution to 1,470,000 subscribers in Samsun, Amasya, Çorum, Ordu and Sinop, is now under the management of Çalık Holding subsidiary Çalık Enerji, the winners of the November 9th, 2009 tender at $441,500,000.

The final transfer ceremony for the YEDAŞ acquisition took place on December 30th, 2010 at the Rixos Grand Hotel in Ankara and was attended by Minister of Finance Mehmet Şimşek and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yıldız. During the ceremony held at the Rixos Grand Ankara Hotel, the final transfer agreement was signed by Çalık Holding President of the Board of Directors of Ahmet Çalık and Turkish Privatization Administration (ÖİB) Deputy Chairman Ahmet Aksu. Çalık Holding CEO Berat Albayrak, Çalık Enerji General Manager Osman Saim Dinç were amongst a significant number of others whom were in attendance of the ceremony.

Ahmet Çalık, the President of the Board of Directors of Çalık Holding, expressed how pleased he was YEDAŞ would be joining the Çalık Holding Group, and stated; « We place high significance on YEDAŞ. I consider the acquisition of this select establishment by Çalık Holding to be a social responsibility: our objective is to provide the best and highest quality service to the region’s residents. Joined by YEDAŞ employees, our group will be signing on to a new success story in the region. »

Emphasizing that during the year that has passed since the tender Çalık Group employees worked exceedingly hard during the transfer process and displayed successful team work, Çalık Holding CEO Berat Albayrak stated; « A new era begins for YEDAŞ. The valuable employees which have worked hard for the YEDAŞ establishment are now becoming part of a 20,000 member massive family. I believe that with the synergy derived from this collaboration, YEDAŞ will take on a significant position throughout Turkey. With YEDAŞ, we will be continuing to showcase the success we have displayed in the energy sector up until now. »

Source : Sabah