Bloomberg’s Scott Reyburn canvasses the waterfront for opinions on why the Al-Thani family wants Qatar to buy Christie’s:
- “Qatar is interested in Christie’s for three reasons,” Philip Hoffman, chief executive of the London-based Fine Art Fund, said in an interview. “It wants long-term value in the art market, it’s looking to diversify its economy and it’s after advice.”
- “Christie’s is a trophy asset,” John Martin, a London- based dealer and co-founder of the Art Dubai fair, said in an interview. “Qatar buying the auction house could result in more international sales taking place in the Middle East. There would be stronger links with Asia. Some sellers might see it as an opportunity and would prefer to sell in the Gulf than in New York or London.”
If the Qataris are making a public appeal to Pinault for Christie’s, it may be a signal that they are now ready to pay the luxury goods magnate’s price. Previously Pinault has been rumored to be interested in selling. Gossip also put the Al-Thanis in negotiations over the Summer.
In the meantime, Pinault appointed a new CEO for Christie’s with a brief to expand the business and the art market has shown strength. Sotheby’s Stock has risen dramatically recently breaking through the highs of late April today to levels not seen since October of 2007.
Qatar May Bid for Christie’s as Emir Buys Art, Plans Mid East Cultural Hub (Bloomberg)