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Qatar's Al Jazeera is mulling over a bid for a controlling stake Turkish pay-TV company Digiturk

December 19
12:30 AM 2013

Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera is considering a bid for a majority stake in Turkish pay-TV company Digiturk. Sources said that Al Jazeera eyes the Istanbul-based satellite TV provider to boost its soccer offering ahead of the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.

Gulf Times, citing an earlier report by Reuters, said that a number of potential buyers have shown interest in Digiturk. Turkey's Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) has seized a 53% stake in the company from highly indebted shareholder Cukurova Holding in May.

Al Jazeera's interest stems from Digiturk's $321 million-a-year deal for exclusive rights to Turkey's Super League championship. The Qatari broadcaster has appointed British investment bank Barclays PLC to assist with its bid, the sources said.

Digiturk has a market capitalization of $1 billion and about $500 million of debt. The Turkish pay-TV company has an enterprise value totaling $1.5 billion, the report said.

Meanwhile, US private equity firm Providence Equity Partners LLC has appointed JPMorgan Chase & Co. to evaluate its options. The investment group owns the remaining 47% of Digiturk. A Reuters source however said that Providence is not considering a sale of its holding.

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