* Media report says 5 papers being sold to Axel Springer
* Dogan Yayin denies report
(Adds background, company statement)
ISTANBUL, Nov 10 Turkey's media group Dogan
Yayin DYHOL.IS, which is in a dispute over a record tax fine,
on Tuesday denied a media report that five of its papers were
being sold to Germany's Axel Springer (SPRGn.DE).
The Aksam daily said on Tuesday that Turkish media mogul
Aydin Dogan was selling the newspapers, but did not specify a
source for the story.
"There is no such transaction between Axel Springer and
Dogan Yayin Holding regarding Dogan Gazetecilik assets," a
source at Dogan Yayin told Reuters. The company later issued a
formal statement denying the report.
Dogan Yayin said in late October it was seeking new partners
or the sale of stakes in subsidiaries in the face of a record
4.8 billion lira ($3.3 billion) tax fine.
In a subsequent official statement to the Istanbul Stock
Exchange, Dogan Yayin also denied the report of the newspapers'
The sale of the five papers - Milliyet, Vatan, Posta,
Radikal and Fanatik - would leave the group with only the
Hurriyet newspaper, alongside its television and other media
Dogan says the government has singled out the company for
its critical coverage and the European Union, which Turkey wants
to join, has criticised the penalty. The government says it is
purely a tax matter and not politically motivated.
Dogan Yayin, which controls half of Turkey's private media,
is due to meet Finance Ministry officials on Nov. 24 to discuss
the fine which has raised concerns about freedom of the press in
(Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Greg Mahlich)