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Sale of popular Turkish commercial TV Channel

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, Time Warner and Texas Pacific Group are among five foreign companies expected to show interest in assets belonging to Turkey’s second-biggest media group ATV-Sabah this week, but international bidders have doubts about the $700 million – $1.25 billion auction process leading to a sale. 

ATV-Sabah combines a popular television channel and a leading Turkish newspaper. It has been controlled by Calik Holding – whose chief executive is the son-in-law of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister – since it was purchased for $1.1 billion in 2008 with the assistance of two state banks. Calik Holding, advised by Goldman Sachs, is hoping for offers of about $1.25 billion, but according to one person familiar with the early-stage auction process, most bidders are reluctant to offer more than $1 billion when initial indications of interest are due in this Tuesday.

ProSiebenSat of Germany and RTL, the Bertelsmann-controlled pan-European broadcaster, are the other groups expected to show interest, a person close to one bidder said. 

News Corp declined to comment but a person familiar with the company said it was “looking at” ATV-Sabah. Mr Murdoch’s group is flush with cash after its British Sky Broadcasting bid was derailed by the UK phone hacking scandal.