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