ISTANBUL, April 12 Turkey's Calik Holding has
made progress in talks to sell its ATV television unit to Time
Warner Inc and a final decision could be made by the end
of April, two sources close to the matter told Reuters on
Dubai-based Abraaj Capital is also interested in Calik's
media assets, the sources said. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp
had been eyeing ATV but dropped out of the race last
year, other people said at the time.
"There are positive developments regarding Time Warner Group
but the process is not yet completed. It should become clear at
the end of April whether the sale will happen or not," said one
Calik declined to comment. Company officials at a Time
Warner office in London could not immediately be reached.
Calik Holding employs more than 20,000 people in 16
countries within sectors ranging from energy, telecoms and
textiles to construction, finance and mining.
It appointed Goldman Sachs in January 2012 to manage the
sale of a controlling stake in its entire media business, which
includes Sabah newspaper, but there was no interest in acquiring
Apart from ATV and Sabah newspaper, its Turkuvaz media group
also includes broadcasters A Haber and Yeni Asir TV, as well as
newspapers Takvim and Fotomac, according to its website.
Calik paid $1.1 billion in 2007 for ATV-Sabah.
Ahmet Calik, chairman of the holding company, is regarded as
close to the ruling AK Party's leadership, and the deal gave the
socially conservative, economically liberal government an
influential friend in the media.
Erdogan's son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, is the chief executive
of Calik Holding, and his brother Serhat Albayrak is the general
manager of the media unit.
A unit of the Qatar Investment Authority, Lusail
International Media Co, owns a 25 percent stake in ATV-Sabah,
according to Calik's website.