Bloomberg News

Time Warner, KKR, TPG Said to Be in Talks to Buy Calik Media

January 08, 2012

(Updates with TPG and KKR spokesmen in last paragraph.)

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- TPG Capital, KKR & Co LP and Time Warner Inc. are in talks to buy media assets from Turkey’s Calik Holding AS, which include Sabah newspaper and ATV television, four people familiar with the situation said.

Calik Holding, the Istanbul-based group with interests in energy, construction, finance and telecommunications, hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to advise on the sale, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private.

Calik Holding, with sales of $2 billion in 2010, 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.

Calik bought Sabah and ATV when the assets were put up for sale after they were seized by Turkish regulators from a previous owner. Calik was the only bidder in the auction for Sabah and ATV after RTL Group SA, Europe’s biggest broadcaster, had abandoned plans to submit a joint bid with two Turkish partners. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. also pulled out.

Gavin Davis, a spokesman for TPG at public relations agency Pelham Bell Pottinger, said TPG declined to comment. Serhat Albayrak, deputy chairman at Turkuvaz Media Group, Calik Holding’s unit that owns Sabah newspaper and ATV channels, didn’t reply to e-mailed questions from Bloomberg seeking comment. “KKR does not comment on market speculation,” Edwin Simpkins, a spokesman for KKR at public relations company Finsbury Ltd. in London, said in an e-mailed statement. Time Warner’s chief in Turkey, Efe Onbilgin, didn’t respond to calls to his cell phone seeking comment.

--Editors: Mark Bentley, Benedikt Kammel

To contact the reporter on this story: Ercan Ersoy in Istanbul at eersoy@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net


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