The New York Post, never noted for its accuracy or even keen insight, ran an article over the weekend with this speculation about Steven Cohen’s investment in Sotheby’s:
Some investors think Cohen intends to take Sotheby’s private, since he can buy it for about $595 million less than half of what’s he spent on his art collection.
With full control of the legendary house, Cohen, who’s worth about $6 billion, could also realize the ultimate dream of all avid art collectors creating a lasting legacy for their art with a museum, much like edifices built by heirs of industrial barons Guggenheim and Getty. One collector said Cohen “can have his museum and make money with it at the same time.”
Since then, outlets like the Silicon Alley Insider and Dealbook, the New York Times financial blog, have picked up the spurious observation. The simple fact that Sotheby’s is an auction house–not a museum–should have twigged the blogs to the off-base speculation.
If Cohen were taking Sotheby’s private, SAC would hardly be the vehicle. It’s a hedge fund, not a private equity operation. Cohen owns no other operations that would benefit from owning Sotheby’s privately (as opposed to Francois Pinault who has several other luxury businesses.)
The Art of the Deal (NY Post)