Mick McGuire was quick on the trigger responding to Sotheby’s announcement this morning:
Today’s announcement is a modest step in the right direction, but Sotheby’s can comfortably return more capital to shareholders and do it more quickly than under its proposed plan. Sotheby’s can and should return a total of $1 billion of capital to shareholders within 12 months using the earnings generated in 2013 and 2014, excess cash on the balance sheet, and capital released from appropriate financing of its Financial Services business and its real estate. Sotheby’s can return this capital to shareholders and still maintain more than adequate liquidity to meet its long-term strategic objectives. We encourage our fellow shareholders to continue to press this Board and management team to act urgently and return significant additional capital in 2014.