David Geffen reveals his Basquiat buy; Jeffrey Deitch's LA life; Allan Schwartzman gets outbid.This commentary by Marion Maneker is available to AMMpro subscribers. (The first month of AMMpro is free and subscribers are welcome to sign up for the first month and cancel before they are billed.) This CNBC report on the Patrick Drahi’s bid to take Sotheby’s private in a $3.7bn transaction financed by BNP-Paribas won’t tell you much about the whys and hows of the deal. In some ways, it is a good preview of the fruitless task of speculating about deals. Nevertheless, we’re in the fruitless speculation business. So let’s offer a few observations on the deal. CNBC’s David Faber suggests he had heard ‘weeks ago’ that Sotheby’s was moving into ‘a sale mode.’ But the last few months of Sotheby’s stock action combined with the price of the deal would suggest that Patrick Drahi was the instigator of the deal. And, indeed, his representatives confirm that. As the 2-year chart from Yahoo Financial (above) shows, Drahi is paying a price close to the historic high of the stock. Sotheby’s float is much lower today than it was four years ago. But the stock still trades on some surprisingly consistent price levels. Since 2007, BID has reached a price in the $50-range four previous times. Drahi’s acquisition price will be near the all-time high of $59 reached just a year ago.
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