« 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