News Corp, Time Warner, bid for Turkey’s Dogan: source

By Asli Kandemir

ANKARA (BestGrowthStock) – Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NWSA.O: ), Germany’s RTL Group and U.S.-based Time Warner (TWX.N: ) have submitted bids for media assets belonging to Turkey’s Dogan Yayin (DYHOL.IS: ), a source close to the deal said on Wednesday.

Dogan Yayin, Turkey’s biggest company, jumped as much as 13 percent on reports it was selling its media units.

The company, which is embroiled in a dispute with the government over record tax fines which exceed its market value, has said it is seeking to sell its partnerships and assets.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, also said private-equity companies are interested in Dogan’s newspapers, which include mass-circulation Hurriyet and Milliyet dailies.

A senior Dogan Yayin executive, Vuslat Dogan Sabanci, who is chairwoman of unit Hurriyet Gazetecilik (HURGZ.IS: ), told CNBC-e television that Dogan Yayin had received non-binding offers.

The company, however, said in a filing with the stock exchange it had previously announced its plan to sell assets and that there were no new developments.

Another source told Reuters that Goldman Sachs was facilitating talks with the potential buyers.

News Corp already part-owns a Fox channel in Turkey. No one was immediately available at News Corp to comment.

RTL is owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann (BERTL.UL: ), which said in September it would be on the lookout for any takeover opportunities if they arise. RTL had no comment.

Dogan Yayin operates CNN Turk in a deal with Time Warner.

Shares in Dogan Yayin jumped as much as 13 percent on Wednesday and traded up 10.7 percent at 1.55 lira at 1327 GMT. Parent company Dogan Holding (DOHOL.IS: ) stock rose 2.9 percent, outperforming the main stock exchange index’s (.XU100: ) 1.11 percent rise.

The Istanbul-based company has accused the government of fining it a record 4.8 billion lira ($3.4 billion) last year for alleged tax irregularities because of its critical political coverage.

Prime Minsiter Tayyip Erdogan has said Dogan behaves like an opposition party, but denies the probe is politically motivated.

(Additional reporting by Selcuk Gokoluk and Alexandra Hudson, writing by Ayla Jean Yackley, Editing by Michael Shields)

News Corp, Time Warner, bid for Turkey’s Dogan: source