The French-Israeli Media magnate, Patrick Drahi, one of Sotheby’s best clients now owns the 275-year-old auction house turning the publicly traded company private.
This trade will imply drastic changes in the auction industry. Patrick Drahi now stands as the private owner of Sotheby’s just like French luxury magnate, François Pinault, owns Christie’s, Sotheby’s main rival.
Patrick is found of art and is an excellent connaisseur. He wanted to make an important move in the auction industry. He also desired to make an American acquisition.
After buying SFR, a French telecommunication brand, in 2014, Libération newspaper, several French television channels such as BFM, RMC, RMC Sport, two cable operators in the United States Suddenlinks (2015), Cablevision (2016) he acquired Cheddar, a provider of video and communication services.
To finance the operation, the businessman will draw on his own funds and sell for $ 400 million of US Altice shares. He will also benefit from a loan taken out with one of his historical bankers, BNP Paribas.
After 31 years as a public company, Sotheby’s returns to private ownership…
Drahi states this will not change Sotheby’s usual functioning. In a statement, Drahi said he was making the acquisition “for my family, through my personal holding, with a very long-term perspective. There is no capital link with Altice Europe or Altice USA.” He expressed his “full confidence in Sotheby’s management” and does not “anticipate any change to the company’s strategy. Management and their exceptional teams and talent around the world will continue to operate with my full support.”
“With my family,” he added, “we are very enthusiastic to build together with its current management and their teams the future of Sotheby’s, a fascinating and multi-secular company with such a celebrated history of uniting people all over the world through culture and arts.”