Dogan Bids $742 Million for Majority Stake in Turkish Pay TV Group Digiturk

If successful, the deal would combine the country's two largest pay TV companies, but it is expected to face regulatory scrutiny.

Turkish conglomerate Dogan Holding has made a non-binding offer to buy a majority stake in Turkish pay TV group Digiturk for $742 million.

Digiturk, a satellite TV service that offers networks both nationally and to the Turkish diaspora across Europe, is controlled by Cukurova Holding, which owns a 53 percent stake. U.S. private equity group Providence Equity Partners owns the other 47 percent.

But control of Digiturk, along with other Cukurova assets, was seized by the Turkish state earlier this year after the group ran into financial difficulties. That set off a storm of speculation with several media groups, including telecom giant Turk Telekom, circling Digiturk.

Dogan's offer for the 53 percent stake held by Cukurova values Digiturk at $1.4 billion. Turk Telecom had previously made a non-binding offer worth $530 million.

Dogan, which already controls D-Smart, a rival Turkish pay TV company, could face opposition from Turkey’s media regulators with its play for Digiturk. The companies would have a combined subscriber base of 4 million-5 million in Turkey.

Dogan’s media empire includes the flagship Hurriyet newspaper.