Auction house Sotheby’s is going private after acquisition by French billionaire Patrick Drahi



Billionaire telecommunications executive and art collector Patrick Drahi acquired auction house Sotheby’s. After more than 30 years as a public company, Sotheby’s returns to private ownership.

sothebys 2019 photos - Auctioneer David Bennett brings the hammer down on the sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva - 14 May 2019

Auctioneer David Bennett brings the hammer down on the sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva – 14 May 2019;

Patrick Drahi offered $3.7 billion for the 250-year-old auction house. The transaction would result in Sotheby’s returning to private ownership after 31 years as a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019 following shareholder approval.

“Patrick Drahi is one of the most well-regarded entrepreneurs in the world, and on behalf of everyone at Sotheby’s, I want to welcome him to the family,” said Tad Smith, Sotheby’s CEO.

“Known for his commitment to innovation and ingenuity, Patrick founded and leads some of the most successful telecommunications, media and digital companies in the world. He has a long-term view and shares our brand vision for great client service and employing innovation to enhance the value of the company for clients and employees.”

This acquisition will provide Sotheby’s with the opportunity to accelerate the successful program of growth initiatives of the past several years in a more flexible private environment. It positions us very well for our future and I strongly believe that the company will be in excellent hands for decades to come with Patrick as our owner.”

“The New York company, which was founded in London in 1744, presents auctions in 10 salesrooms worldwide. Last year the company’s net income totaled $108.6 million, or $2.09 per share, on revenue of $1.04 billion. Adjusted profit totaled $128.9 million, or $2.48 per share,” wrote cbsnews.

“I am honored that the Board of Sotheby’s has decided to recommend my offer,” commented Patrick Drahi. “Sotheby’s is one of the most elegant and aspirational brands in the world. As a longtime client and lifetime admirer of the company, I am acquiring Sotheby’s together with my family. We thank Domenico and the rest of the Sotheby’s Board for its support and look forward to getting started with Tad and the wonderful members of his team to define our future.”

sothebys 2019 photos