Turkish state fund mulling tender for seized Digiturk
The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund of Turkey is considering to launch a tender for the sale of Digitürk. DHA photoThe Savings Deposit Insurance Fund of Turkey (TMSF) is considering the initiation of a tender for the sale of pay-television platform Digitürk, which is the most valuable of the Çukuorva Holding assets seized, some reports claim.
The state fund is close to making a decision about the process, daily Milliyet reported yesterday.
The TMSF seized control of Digiturk in May, along with many other companies belonging to the troubled conglomerate, Çukurova Holding, citing the group’s debts.
“The TMSF and Çukurova’s studies regarding Digitürk are continuing with coordination,” a source close to the matter told Reuters. The parties are working on several alternatives, including the direct sale of the broadcaster or sale with a tender, the same source said, confirming daily Milliyet’s report.
The TMSF has already sold Çukurova’s broadcaster Show TV to business group Ciner for 402 million Turkish Liras. The group’s other media assets, daily Akşam, SKY 360 TV channel, and Alem Radio, have been acquired by a consortium of three Turkish firms, Kolin, Limak and Cengiz, which has also won the tender to build and operate the third Istanbul airport.
Digitürk won the tender for Super League broadcasting rights in January 2010 for a yearly net payment of $321 million. Its exclusive rights to show matches brighten the company as a special asset among Çukurova’s holdings.
“Digitürk has been a very healthy and steady company, unlike other Çukurova companies,” the TMSF head said.
A number of local and foreign groups have declared their intention to buy Digitürk 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. Digitürk’s biggest rival, D-smart, also said in July that it wanted to acquire the company. The U.S. Providence Equity Partners, also owns 47 percent of Digitürk.