Marcato Capital continues to bow out of Sotheby’s despite having missed out on meaningful gains in the stock. The firm once held as many as 4.6m shares. By the end of 2016, their holdings were down by more than a half to 2.6m. The current 13F filing reveals that Mick McGuire has further pared his position to 1.7m shares currently worth $80m.
The filing means that McGuire, who initiated the activist upheaval in BID, got very little return on his multi-year play. He bought the stock in the mid-30s in late Spring of 2013. McGuire’s focused set of demands were swamped by a more ambitious plan to over-haul and transform the business Sotheby’s is in. The success of that project remains to be seen.
McGuire did get the firm to buy back a substantial portion of the stock float which has brought the price back to levels not seen since the height of the initial battle with management in late 2013. McGuire’s most recent sales in Q1 of this year missed out on a substantial rise in the company’s stock leaving much of his hoped-for gains on the table.