Bloomberg is reporting that Sotheby’s has a new shareholder:
Sotheby’s, the auction house with two U.S. activist shareholders among its top investors, now also has two influential Asian owners. Taikang Life Insurance Co., whose chairman and chief executive officer, Chen Dongsheng, also is the founder and president of China Guardian Auctions Co., one of China’s largest auction houses, disclosed an active stake of 13.52 percent Wednesday and said it may seek board representation.
The Chinese insurer said in a regulatory filing that it had expressed support to Sotheby’s board and management for its broader strategic initiatives, “and provided suggestions regarding future director nominations.” Such nominations could include persons associated with Taikang, the insurer said.
Taikang’s filing follows a May disclosure that Singapore- based Sotheby’s shareholder Shanda Payment Holdings Ltd. is poised to increase its stake. Tianqiao Chenand Chrissy Qian Qian Luo, co-founders of Shanda, owner of 2 percent of Sotheby’s, received U.S. antitrust approval allowing them to purchase more shares.