Demiroren’s debt restructuring talks now cover $2 bln -sources

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ISTANBUL, Oct 4 (Businesshala) – Turkey’s biggest media owner, Demiroren Holding, is in talks with banks to restructure some $2 billion in loans, sources familiar with the talks said, more focused than before. Because the focus has been on the debt used for the acquisition. media, lotteries and energy assets,

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Sources who requested anonymity told Businesshala that talks could expand to cover even more debt, taking into account interest.

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Demiroren Holding did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the restructuring talks.

Pro-government Demiroren paid $916 million in 2018 for Hurriyat newspaper, broadcaster CNN Turk and other assets of Dogan Holding. The deal moved the mainstream media heavily behind President Tayyip Erdogan.

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Businesshala has previously reported that Demiroren was in discussions to restructure loans worth up to $1.4 billion.

It is in talks with Zirat Bank to restructure $800 million, amounting to a loan to finance purchases in the media sector, three banking sources said.

Sources said the rest of the loan – about $1.2 billion for acquisition of lottery services and energy ventures – is being negotiated with eight or nine banks, including state lenders.

Zirat Bank declined to comment.

One of the sources said the holding company “has difficulty making money from its core businesses and that makes restructuring difficult.”

A second banking source said the restructuring options under consideration include an extension of terms, a balloon payment, a “hair cut” or a loan switch from the dollar to the Turkish lira.

A balloon payment could potentially bring about a property sale but “nothing is clear yet,” said this person.

Reporting by Ebru Tunke; Editing by Jonathan Spicer and Jane Merriman

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