Dogan Yayin confirms bids, News Corp offer too low

ANKARA (BestGrowthStock) – Dogan Yayin (DYHOL.IS: ), Turkey’s biggest media company, confirmed on Thursday it has received several bids for its units and said an offer from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NWSA.O: ) was too low.

The company, which is embroiled in a dispute with the government and tax authorities, did not name all the bidders. But in a statement filed at the Istanbul Stock Exchange, Dogan said the News Corp bid was low and the terms insufficient.

On Wednesday, a source close to the situation told Reuters News Corp had withdrawn from the bidding because it found Dogan’s Yayin’s assets too pricey.

A separate source close to the deal said on Wednesday Germany’s RTL Group and U.S. based Time Warner Inc (TWX.N: ) had submitted bids, while private equity groups may also be interested in Dogan Yayin’s newspapers, which include mass-circulation dailies Hurriyet and Milliyet.

Dogan Yayin, which also owns Turkey’s largest broadcasting network, is valued at $2 billion, according to another source familiar with the process.

Turkey’s economy is set to grow 6.8 percent this year — among the fastest rates for any major economy — and the country enjoys a growing advertising market.

However, Dogan Yayin was fined 4.8 billion lira last year for tax regularities, a move Dogan says was politically motivated. The government denies this. The fine has already prompted Germany’s Axel Springer (SPRGn.DE: ) to pull out of plans to boost its stake in the company.

Media reports that its assets were overpriced were “baseless” and the units up for sale had no unpaid tax debts, Dogan said.

By 1326 GMT shares in Dogan Yayin traded 3.1 percent higher, outperforming the Istanbul stock exchange (.XU100: ) which fell 0.9 percent, and after rising as much as 13 percent on Wednesday on reports of the planned sale.

Turkish stocks have risen almost 30 percent this year on the country’s strong economic rebound.

RTL is owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann (BERTL.UL: ), which said in September it was looking for takeover opportunities. RTL declined to comment.

Dogan Yayin operates CNN Turk in a deal with Time Warner. Time Warner also declined to comment.

(Reporting by Selcuk Gokoluk and Ibon Villelabeitia; Editing by Erica Billingham)

Dogan Yayin confirms bids, News Corp offer too low