Turks perk up bids

Dogan seeks stake in ProSiebenSat 1

BERLIN — Turkey’s biggest media conglom Dogan Yayin has become the latest to bid for Haim Saban’s German broadcasting group, ProSiebenSat 1.

If successful, this could give German publishing giant Axel Springer an indirect stake in ProSiebenSat 1 — Springer is acquiring 25% of Dogan Yayin subsidiary Dogan TV, a leading Turkish web, for some $480 million.

Dogan has moved up to the second round of bidding for the 50.5% stake being sold by Saban and his investment partners, according to the Financial Times Deutschland. Saban’s consortium partners are said to want at least e3 billion ($3.8 billion) for their share.

Dogan execs have declined to comment on the report.

However, the Springer link could create regulatory difficulties for the Dogan Group from German antitrust watchdogs as Springer already owns a 12% stake in ProSiebenSat 1.

It was blocked from taking over ProSiebenSat 1 by German regulators earlier this year.

Final bids for ProSiebenSat 1 are expected by mid-December.

Other bidders include a consortium consisting of equity firms KKR and Permira, which could merge ProSiebenSat 1 with their pan-European broadcasting group SBS.

Also bidding together are Apax and Goldman Sachs, which have reportedly teamed up with investment group Cinven.

Dogan owns two of the top four TV stations in Turkey and three of its five most-read newspapers. Turkey’s media is attracting foreign investors on expectations of higher ad spending in a growing economy.

Springer has said it plans to increase investments outside its home market. Company generated about 16% of its sales outside Germany in 2005, up from 2% in 1998.

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