« 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