The auction for Turkey's second-biggest media group, Sabah/ATV, will be held today, but many agree that there are black clouds hovering over the sale, as a second group, RTL-İpek-Sancak has pulled out, hours after Nurol Holding and its partner, Carlyle Group, withdrew from the process Monday.
The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF), which organizes the sale, has set a price of $1.1 billion for Sabah daily, the ATV channel and related media assets, which include regional newspaper Yeni Asır, magazines, a distribution company and an advertisement company. All of these assets were seized by the government to recoup losses at a failed bank.
But both Nurol Holding and Koza have found the price tag too hefty and pulled out. The RTL-İpek-Sancak consortium could not reach an internal agreement over financing the deal, reported the private NTV news channel yesterday.
As of yesterday evening, the only bidder left in the process was Çalık Holding. The holding handed its offer to the TMSF yesterday, being the sole bidder, according to a statement by the TMSF.
Çalık Holding, led by businessman Ahmet Çalık, is claimed to be "close" to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. Berat Albayrak, 26, the son-in-law of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, became Çalık's general manager in late March.
If the holding - which is active in areas such as textile, energy, construction, finance and logistics - also pulls out, the bidding will either be canceled or postponed. Such a development will strengthen rumors that the conditions for bidding will be changed and a second auction will take place at an unspecified date. Among these changes might be the increase of foreign shares that are allowed in a Turkish media group, reported Referans daily yesterday. According to the daily, the cap for foreign shares might be raised to 50 percent from 25.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Aralık 2007, 11:34