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Turkey’s Calik Media Sale to Local Company Said to Be Close

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Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Calik Holding AS is nearing the sale of media assets including ATV television and Sabah newspaper to another Turkish company, two people with knowledge of the situation said.

The sales agreement may be signed soon, said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is confidential. Calik, an Istanbul-based group that bought the media companies from the government in 2008 for $1.25 billion, hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to advise on the sale in early 2012.

Calik has interests in energy, construction, finance, media and telecommunications that generated sales of $2.8 billion in 2012, according to the latest data on its website. It bought Sabah, ATV and other media assets with $375 million in loans from state-run lenders Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS and Turkiye Vakiflar Bankasi TAO. Its Qatari partner in the purchase, Lusail International Media Company, got Turkish regulatory approval to sell its 25 percent stake to Calik on Oct. 25.

Calik’s chief executive officer is Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, who will step down at the end of December, according to a statement from the company on Nov. 21.

Calik’s media units had sales of $491 million in 2012, or 18 percent of the group’s revenue, down from $600 million a year ago, according to Calik’s website. Media losses were $68 million in 2012, compared with $193 million a year ago, data on the website show.

Time Warner Inc., Abraaj Capital and TPG Capital were among previous bidders in the sale of Calik’s media assets.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ercan Ersoy in Istanbul at eersoy@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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