Sotheby’s just announced a 25% stake in RM Auctions, the high end classic car auctioneer, with an option to acquire more of the company. Terms were not disclosed. RM will now be RM Sotheby’s and the car auctioneer’s skill at using social media and the web to broadcast their sales might converge nicely with Sotheby’s own growing sophistication in the matter.
Today’s announcement grows those previous partnerships and unites the two businesses for the full calendar of future automobile auctions. The first RM Sotheby’s sale will take place in Amelia Island, Florida, March 14, with additional auctions in Fort Worth, Texas, Lake Como, Italy, Monterey, California, London, England and New York among others scheduled for later this year.
“Sotheby’s is thrilled to join the clear market leader in this field,” commented Bill Ruprecht, Sotheby’s President, Chairman, and CEO. “RM has established a formidable position that will only be strengthened by this new phase in our relationship. Just last year, RM set a new benchmark for a collector car auction with their flagship Monterey sale totaling more than $140 million, eclipsing the previous record they had established in 2013. The incredible synergy between our businesses, including significant overlap of top collectors and a focus on new markets, will be further strengthened as we work together to expand the classic car collector base. RM’s ownership of the high end of the market coupled with our global client network positions us for great success at a time when the market for investment-quality motor cars has never been stronger.”
Rob Myers, Chairman and Founder, RM Auctions added, “The partnership that has been formed between RM Auctions and Sotheby’s is undoubtedly the most effective way for us to reach the ever-growing worldwide audience of collectors who take a keen interest in the collector car asset class. No other organization in the world has a client base as far-reaching as Sotheby’s and since we have worked so closely and successfully with them in the past, it makes perfect sense that we form a strategic partnership that creates a truly worldwide platform for collector cars. It’s an exciting time in our company history, and for the hobby at large.”
Initially Sotheby’s will have a 25 percent ownership position in RM, governance participation and a comprehensive partnership agreement to work together to drive growth in the business. Over time, Sotheby’s will have opportunities to increase the ownership stake as the partnership evolves and grows.