Firms in talks to buy Digiturk: Turkish state fund
Savings Deposit Insurance Fund of Turkey (TMSF) head Şakir Ercan Gül. AA PhotoÇukurova Holding is in talks with a couple of companies, including a foreign one, for the sale of its pay-television giant Digiturk, the state fund has said, adding they will hold a tender if the negotiation process fails.
Digitturk was seized by the state fund last year.
“The owner of the asset [Çukurova Holding] is directly having talks with the buyer candidates [for Digiturk]. There are a couple of candidates, foreign and local. We are not directly in the process; we are the approval authority,” Savings Deposit Insurance Fund of Turkey (TMSF) head Şakir Ercan Gül said to Reuters on April 11 on the sidelines of the International Investment Summit.
The state regulator seized control of Digiturk in May and many other companies belonging to the troubled conglomerate, Çukurova Group, in connection with the group’s debts.
The TMSF allowed some time for Çukurova after the company said it could sell Digiturk, 53 percent of which is owned by Çukurova, at a higher price.
Gül said if the negotiation process between aspirant groups and the main shareholders are not successful, the fund will put the company out for tender.
The remaining shares of the pay-TV platform that holds the exclusive broadcasting rights of Turkey’s national football league is controlled by Providence Equity Partners.
A number of local and foreign groups have declared their intention to buy Digiturk since May. Türk Telekom submitted a non-binding offer to buy a 53 percent stake in the company in July, but the Çukurova Group found Türk Telekom’s $530-million offer too low, the TMSF said, adding there were four other bidders, including mobile operators and the Doğuş Group. Digitürk’s biggest rival, D-smart, also said in early July that it wanted to acquire the company.