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TMSF acquires Ciner Group shares

ISTANBUL – Turkish Daily News | 6/26/2007 12:00:00 AM |

Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) has taken over shares of Atv and Sabah, the Merkez Group owned companies reported Milliyet Daily. TMSF currently possesses the shares of all broadcast and

Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) has taken over shares of Atv and Sabah, the Merkez Group owned companies reported Milliyet Daily.  TMSF currently possesses the shares of all broadcast and publishing companies once owned by Turgay Ciner.

TMSF, which is getting ready for the sales of Sabah Daily, one of Turkey's largest circulation dailies, and Atv, one of the most popular television channels, implemented the share purchasing transaction based on the new Banking Rules and Regulations. By the acquisition TMSF now has a stronger arm against Ciner Group, which has filed a lawsuit against the fund at the Administrative Court.

When TMSF, an independent government body protecting deposits, had seized the has the second biggest media group in Turkey, Medya Yayın Holding nominally owned by Dinç Bilgin on April 1, Sabah and Atv were among the seized companies belonging to the group. TMSF seized up to 63 companies operating in the media sector belonging to Bilgin and Ciner beyond Sabah and Atv.

Back then, a statement released by TMSF said the fund has seized partnership rights, management and auditing rights, excluding accumulated dividends, of the Medya Yayın Holding based on the relevant clauses of Banking Law number 5411.

The fund explained that the action was taken due to some secret contracts allegedly signed between Dinç Bilgin and Turgay Ciner, who has effectively controlled the media conglomerate under license since 2003. 

Licensing agreements

Licensing agreements signed between Dinç Bilgin and Turgay Ciner's Merkez Group on October 1, 2002, and another contract signed between Medya and Merkez groups on November17, 2003 and protocols signed among TMSF, Medya and Merkez on May 3, 2005 have all been annulled due to other agreements. The agreements canceling the above-mentioned, previous agreements are namely the newly revealed protocol dated June 12, 2002 and contracts dated August 8, 2002, which were kept secret from the TMSF. The secret agreements have made other legal agreements null and void, the TMSF said.  

 Turgay Ciner and his companies have been documented to have misled and cheated the TMSF as of the date of the first secret license agreement of October 1, 2002, the fund said. It was also reported that it was Dinç Bilgin who personally handed in the documents of the secret agreements to the TMSF.  

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