TURKEY IN MOVE TO ALLOW 50% FOREIGN TV OWNERSHIP
- Published:08 Ocak 2011, Cumartesi
- Updated:19 Ocak 2011, Çarşamba
Turkey's parliament approved on Thursday legislation allowing foreigners to own 50 percent of Turkish broadcasters, doubling the limit and paving the way for more acquisitions from abroad.
Voting was continuing on other articles of the broadcasting law in parliament.
The law is expected to shift investors' attention to buyouts in Turkey's fast-growing media industry. Turkey's media sector is dominated by Dogan Yayin (DYHOL.IS), which owns major television stations as well as mass circulation newspapers such as Hurriyet and Milliyet.
Dogan Yayin, embroiled in a legal battle against crippling tax fines, plans to sell its assets and has put bids from Time Warner and two U.S. private equity funds, KKR (KKR.N) and TPG [TPG.UL], on a shortlist of potential buyers for the media group's assets, excluding the flagship Hurriyet daily, sources familiar with the deal told Reuters on Wednesday.
The move is "positive for Dogan Group," said broker Seker Yatirim in a report to clients after the approval.
Dogan Yayin is also preparing to sell its flagship Hurriyet (HURGZ.IS) daily newspaper separately, another source close to the process told Reuters, adding investment bank Goldman Sachs will invite initial bids by Feb. 1.
Hurriyet shares rallied as much as 15 percent on Wednesday and closed 13.4 percent higher at 2.11 lira. The stock jumped another 4.3 percent on Thursday at 1530 GMT close of trading, and Dogan Yayin shares advanced 5.4 percent.
The ruling, pro-business AK Party, tried to reform foreign ownership rules in 2005 but the bill was vetoed by the former president.
The current president, Abdullah Gul, is a former AK Party member, and has a track record of approving legislation passed by the AKP-dominated parliament.
A young population, coupled with the fastest economic growth in Europe, makes the Turkish media market attractive to investors.