« 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

« 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

« Dogan Yayin-court rulings in tax dispute upheld » – Sabah

« Turkey’s leading media group Dogan Yayin, embroiled in legal battles against crippling tax fines, said late on Wednesday appeals by both it and the state against initial court rulings had been rejected.

The publishing group said that of cases heard at the tax court involving a sum of 862.3 million lira, the court ruled in its favour for 814.22 million lira worth of that sum.

The court ruled against Dogan for 17.6 million lira worth, and had yet to decide on the remaining 30.6 million lira.

Of cases involving 796.7 million lira dealt with by the administrative court, the court ruled in Dogan Yayin’s favour for 783.2 million lira worth and against in 13.5 million worth.

Challenges by the tax office to court rulings in Dogan’s favour, had been rejected. Similarly Dogan Yayin’s challenges to rulings against it had also been rejected — leaving the original decisions in place. Dogan Yayin is selling its assets but will not exit the media sector entirely.

U.S. private equity fund KKR, Time Warner and private equity fund Texas Pacific Group are among shortlisted bidders for Dogan Yayin’s assets and will have a month to put their final binding offers on the table, a banker said on Tuesday.

Turkish foodmaker Yildiz Holding may bid in partnership with KKR, sources familiar with the deal told Reuters on Wednesday. »

Source : Sabah

« Turkey in move to allow 50% foreign TV ownership » – Sabah

Source : Sabah

« Turkey’s parliament approved on Thursday legislation allowing foreigners to own 50 percent of Turkish broadcasters, doubling the limit and paving the way for more acquisitions from abroad.

Voting was continuing on other articles of the broadcasting law in parliament.

The law is expected to shift investors’ attention to buyouts in Turkey’s fast-growing media industry. Turkey’s media sector is dominated by Dogan Yayin (DYHOL.IS), which owns major television stations as well as mass circulation newspapers such as Hurriyet and Milliyet.

Dogan Yayin, embroiled in a legal battle against crippling tax fines, plans to sell its assets and has put bids from Time Warner and two U.S. private equity funds, KKR (KKR.N) and TPG [TPG.UL], on a shortlist of potential buyers for the media group’s assets, excluding the flagship Hurriyet daily, sources familiar with the deal told Reuters on Wednesday.

The move is « positive for Dogan Group, » said broker Seker Yatirim in a report to clients after the approval.

Dogan Yayin is also preparing to sell its flagship Hurriyet (HURGZ.IS) daily newspaper separately, another source close to the process told Reuters, adding investment bank Goldman Sachs will invite initial bids by Feb. 1.

Hurriyet shares rallied as much as 15 percent on Wednesday and closed 13.4 percent higher at 2.11 lira. The stock jumped another 4.3 percent on Thursday at 1530 GMT close of trading, and Dogan Yayin shares advanced 5.4 percent.

The ruling, pro-business AK Party, tried to reform foreign ownership rules in 2005 but the bill was vetoed by the former president.

The current president, Abdullah Gul, is a former AK Party member, and has a track record of approving legislation passed by the AKP-dominated parliament.

A young population, coupled with the fastest economic growth in Europe, makes the Turkish media market attractive to investors. « 

Source : Sabah