Sarah Thornton is on the Haunch of Venison story with a vengeance providing both history and near real-time reporting on the split of Blain and Southern from the company. She writes: “Insiders variously cite corporate politics, turf wars and information withholding—rather than overspending,” though she cites some figures [below] that belie her own assertion.
Thornton also points to Francois Pinault as the primary instigator of the purchase suggesting that one should never buy a business where you are already one of the best customers:
Christie’s will retain the brand name and reposition Haunch as purely a primary-focused gallery, with any secondary-market activities taken over by Christie’s post-war and contemporary department. […] Word has it that Haunch NY will also leave its high-rise premises in Rockefeller Centre, because the connotations of the location are “too secondary market”, and set up shop alongside other primary galleries in Chelsea. […] Haunch of Venison may have suffered more than some other galleries during the downturn. In 2007, Haunch’s revenue in Britain, its biggest market by far, was £66m ($105.6m) and profit was £1.6m. In 2008 the crash in sales and a subsequent write-down in the value of their art inventory meant a £1.8m loss in a year when Mr Blain was paid £1.2m. In 2009 Haunch paid a £2m down payment for the three-year lease of its grand Burlington Gardens space. The total rental fee was £4.25m, a whopping price, considering that the Royal Academy bought the building in 2001 for a mere £5m.
Smoked Venison (Economist)