One of the things you have to admire about art dealers if the number of shrewd negotiators among their ranks. From Duveen to Mnuchin to Gagosian, art dealers have an impressive track record as traders.
Today’s news that the Kushner family is negotiating to buy the Florida Marlins from art dealer Jeffrey Loria cites an impressive ten-fold return on Loria investment.
The Marlins came at the end of a string of transactions for Loria that began 18 years ago with a quarter share of the Montreal Expos that cost the dealer $12m. Adroit maneuvering seems to have allowed Loria to increase his ownership of the Canadian team to 94% without actually buying out his partners. Eventually, he used that stake in the Expos to become the owner of the Marlins through a complex, multi-party transaction.
So Loria turned $12m into $1.6bn over two decades. Even art doesn’t give one those kinds of returns. Here’s Bloomberg on the Kushner-Loria rumors:
Forbes, citing two sources that it didn’t identify, earlier today said Loria has a “handshake agreement” to sell the club for $1.6 billion. The magazine didn’t identify the buyer, saying only that it was with a real estate developer based in New York City.
Loria bought the team in 2002 for about $160 million.
Kushner Family Is Bidding for the Miami Marlins (Bloomberg)