Murdoch met with Erdogan at his office at 5 p.m. today for about an hour. Turkey is an important market for News Corp. and it wants to expand its investments in the country, Murdoch told Erdogan, said a government official, who declined to be identified because the talks were private.
Murdoch didn’t answer reporters’ questions when exiting the building. News Corp. spokesman Jack Horner declined to comment on the content of the meeting in a phone interview earlier.
News Corp. bought Turkey’s TGRT television channel for $151 million in 2006 and re-named it Fox TV. Today’s talks come amid efforts by Calik Holding AS to sell a national newspaper and television channel that Murdoch failed to buy in 2008. Calik, run by Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak, hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) to find a buyer for Sabah and ATV in January.
Murdoch may be interested in Sabah and ATV, the Financial Times reported on Jan. 22 without citing anyone.
News Corp. was among initial bidders for the two assets when they were put up for sale four years ago then later withdrew. Calik paid $1.25 billion after winning loans from state-run banks and its Qatari partner.
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