Time Warner could buy Turkish TV network


Time Warner CableTime Warner is said to be in talks to buy Turkey’s ATV network from Calik Holdings. Time Warner’s bid is believed to be about $1 billion and most likely the current front front-runner.

Dubai-based buyout firm Abraaj Capital Ltd. is the other bidder for ATV, according to a Bloomberg story. Istanbul-based Calik hired Goldman Sachs Group early last year to help sell its media business, which includes ATV and Sabah newspaper. Time Warner, which will spin off its magazine unit later this year, is only interested in the television channel, said the story.

Time Warner and Abraaj are the remaining bidders in a process that has been going on almost a year, placing binding bids for the group’s television channel last May. Calik’s TV assets have attracted media companies looking to foreign investments to spur sales growth as it becomes harder to add subscribers in their fully developed domestic markets.

ATV television channel was spun off from the remaining media units of Calik that include newspapers and magazines to allow for a separate sale.

Calik, which has interests in energy, construction, finance and telecommunications, paid the government $1.25 billion for Turkey’s second-biggest media group after winning loans from state-run banks and its Qatari partner in 2008. The company is managed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak.

See the Bloomberg story here