SBS in Turkey shoot for seized Star TV

News Corp. likely to be among bidders

AMSTERDAM — Pan Euro channel launcher SBS Broadcasting will bid for Star TV, Turkey’s first privately owned network.

Star TV and a cluster of spinoff channels are part of the massive holdings of the Uzan family seized by banking authorities last year after it ran up billions in debts.

The holdings ran the gamut from media to banking.

The Turkish government’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund will auction the Star TV group in the next six to eight weeks.

SBS Broadcasting CEO-prexy Markus Tellenbach noted SBS sent a team into Turkey a year ago “to begin looking for a possible entry to the market.”

He added News Corp. was likely to be among bidders. “We’re also likely to see some French interests, but we’re confident. We’ve been there a year while other players are just waking up.”

The licenses up for grabs will include Star TV, StarMax, Star 6, Star 8 and Kanal 6.

In 2003 a U.S. court handed down a $4.3 billion judgment against Telsim, the mobile company owned by the Uzan family, after Nokia and the Motorola Credit Corp. accused the Uzans of obtaining loans fraudulently.

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