Attention turns to Tad Smith's future at Sotheby's and gathering lots for the Fall; Sotheby's Hong Kong sale to feature Tomoo Gokita; John Currin thinks he would look stupid in a Ferrari.
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.)
Shareholders Vote for Drahi to Buy Sotheby’s
That huge sigh of relief you heard emanate from the Upper East Side of Manhattan yesterday morning came shortly after 91% of Sotheby’s shareholders voted to accept French telecom tycoon Patrick Drahi’s $57-a-share offer to take Sotheby’s private. Folks at Sotheby’s were holding their breath to see if the auction house’s largest shareholder Taikang Life Insurance Company would top Drahi’s bid. During the negotiations between Sotheby’s and several interested parties, Taikang’s independent representative on Sotheby’s board had abstained from voting to accept Drahi’s offer after previously expressing the belief the stock was work nearly twice as much or $100.
The obvious implication for Sotheby’s was that Taikang might make a serious strategic bid to own all of Sotheby’s, the massive insurance company also owns China Guardian auction house that operates on the mainland. Sotheby’s shareholders surely would have been happy for a higher offer. But specialists and executives at the auctioneer were also eager to get clarity from the sale’s approval.
Now that the shareholders have expressed themselves in a resoundingly clear way, Sotheby’s is looking forward to regulators checking off the remaining boxes which Sotheby’s hopes will happen before the next big round of sales this November in New York or soon thereafter.
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