Will Dogan really sell?

By Yavuz Semerci - HaberTurk

One of the four newspapers sold in Turkey belong to Dogan Media. Milliyet, Posta, Vatan, Radikal, Fanatik... (Hürriyet is not involved in this number). Dogan Media is up for sale as a package involving Star Television. Moreover, it is raised that the other assets like Hürriyet, Kanal D are in the sales list in different packages. Dogan Group replies this claim "We do not intend to leave media at all"...

The net figure will not be clear until the process will be finished, because sale process is confidential to seller and buyers. However, short while ago Doğan Group bargains with İpek Group. Parties almost shake hands for the assets (except Posta and Radikal at a loss). The figure on the table was $350 million (part of it will be paid with installments) for Star Television, Milliyet and Vatan newspapers. In the last minute, İpek Group attempted to decrease the figure to $300 million, however no deal closed...

Wherever in the world, if the biggest media company (while advertising revenue and circulation do not confirm any rise or growth) of the country is on sale than all part of the society and finance part would pay attention to this issue. They make analyzes and speculate.People interest in this issue should start with the questions such as "Why do they place on sale?" "Is the real aim to sell?" and try to figure out the answer of that question "How will the media market take a shape after sale?" From this day forward, I will tell you the significant analyses and speculations about this issue from this column. Firstly, I should share my finding with you: I do not believe that Doğan Group will really place them on sale. Why? I have lots of reasons. The brand new one is that: A reliable source said that the offer price for Doğan Gazetecilik and Star Television which have a market value of $238 million for the present is $750 million. How come that assets worth to $350 million (the figure can be raised up a little bit with the involvement of Posta with 450 thousand circulation) at last year raise up to $750 million? What makes the change in this time? Furthermore Milliyet and Vatan's circulation (daily circulation from 200 thousands to 140 thousands) and advertisement revenue (share from the cake) significantly decreased.

Doğan Group, having difficulties with government, claims that the tax fine they faced is because of a political pressure. Discussing this claim is true or false is like going down the dead well. That's why I pass this. However it is really hard to be on the target of rulers and to survive despite the rulers. In this point, I believe it is one of the Doğan Group's maneuvers. Until the upcoming general elections the sentences "I sold, I am selling," and "I am out of media, I will be out of media" will be uttered. And then a new plan will be shaped according to the election results. Moreover for this sale to become a success the foreigner threshold in owning a television channel in Turkey shall be removed.

TL 105-million-capital Doğan Gazetecilik A.Ş. that is put for sale belongs to Doğan Media Holding, 70.6 percent of which is publicly listed. Majority shareholder of Doğan Media Holding is the publicly listed Doğan Media Holding. Whether the purchase is realized or not, a process that will lead to an increased valuation will successively have a leverage effect on stock market values of all other Doğan companies. In other words, Doğan Group might be doing a research study of market valuation that will increase the value of all its companies. I will continue tomorrow.

P.S. Goldman Sachs manages the assets sales. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., French Vivendi, German Axel Springer, US' giant TimeWarner, KKR and TPG fund bought Mey İçki.

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