Turkey’s largest media holding Demiroren handed over its media buildings including their land of more than 50 thousand square meter to state owned Ziraat Bank, after it failed to return a loan received four years ago.
Demiroren took a loan totalling 750 million dollars for its 2018 purchase of daily Hurriyet, broadcaster CNN Turk and other assets from Dogan Holding, but was unable to book profits during this period, sources said.
Dogan was long seen as closer to opposition in Turkey and its sale of papers and TV and radio stations to pro-government Demiroren shifted Turkey’s mainstream media overwhelmingly behind President Tayyip Erdogan.
It was not clear how much of the installments of the credit was already paid by Demiroren since Ziraat never answered such questions referring to “client privacy.”
But Cumhuriyet said a statement made to the Public Disclosure Platform by the group on Monday proved that the loan was not paid back.
Critics say the estimated value of the property does not even meet one-third of the principal of the loan received 4 years ago, let alone with interest.
Last year, Reuters reported that the group was in talks with lenders to restructure up to $1.4 billion in loans, including funds used to acquire the media group.
Demiroren, whose holdings include energy, real estate and other assets, has been aiming to restructure the loan from Ziraat and a smaller one from other private and state banks, but the transfer of the buildings and lands showed that the restructure work failed.