Turkish Media Giant Sabah-ATV Put up for Sale

Jeff Bewkes | Time Warner
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Jeff Bewkes-led Time Warner and private equity players are seen as possible bidders for the country's second-largest media group, which is seen as being worth $700 million-$1 billion.

NEW YORK - Turkish conglomerate Calik Holding, which is run by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son-in-law, has put Sabah-ATV, the country's second-largest media company, up for sale, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Time Warner, led by chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes, and private equity firms are among possible bidders, it said.

A Time Warner spokesman declined to comment. A source familiar with the situation said the entertainment giant, which has made acquisitions in fast-growing markets overseas in recent years, has been approached in the bidding process.

Sabah-ATV's assets include TV station ATV and daily newspaper Sabah. Bids are due in the third week of January, according to the Journal. The Turkish company's assets are valued at between $700 million and $1 billion, it said.

Calik, which also owns energy assets, acquired Sabah-ATV from the state for $1.25 billion in 2008 in an auction that triggered suspicions that the government was looking to increase its control over the media, the Journal said.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai