US private equity giants KKR and TPG are in the race to acquire broadcasting assets from Dogan Yayin, Turkey’s biggest media group, according to the Financial Times.
The array of bidders has narrowed following a second round of bidding last month to the two firms and media conglomerate Time Warner.
The focus of the bids is on television channels Kanal D and Star TV, but may include some of the Dogan group’s newspapers, as their inclusion would not significantly alter the price of the deal, which is expected to be well above $1.5bn.
Apax Partners and European broadcaster RTL have dropped out of the auction process because they felt the price was too high.
Aydin Dogan, owner of Dogan Yayin parent company Dogan Holding, put a large portion of his grou’s assets up for sale after coming under intense pressure from the Turkish government over his newspapers’ critical coverage of the ruling party.
The company is also now seeking a buyer for Hurriyet, its top-selling newspaper, in a separate auction process. Despite the paper’s popularity, it is said to be unlikely to attract a great deal of international interest in light of the political risks of owning an influential Turkish daily.
Dogan holding also recently sold its controlling stake in fuel retailer Petrol Ofisi to Austrian company OMV, its joint venture partner, for €1bn.
Fellow US megafirm Carlyle recently sold Taiwanese cable TV unit Kbro to the country’s Tsai family.
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