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Media Mogul Acquires Sotheby’s for $3.7B

Jun 18, 2019 7:21 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Media and telecom entrepreneur Patrick Drahi has bought Sotheby’s for $3.7 billion, taking it private after 31 years as a publicly traded company.

BidFair USA, an entity wholly owned by Drahi, will pay $57 per share of common stock to all Sotheby’s shareholders, the auction house said Monday. The deal, which has already received board approval, is a 61% premium over the auction house’s closing price on June 14. 

Drahi, an avid art collector and Sotheby's patron, has a long-term vision for enhancing the company's value, CEO Tad Smith explained.

“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,” Smith noted. “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.”

Drahi, a French-Israeli businessman, is founder of international news channel i24news. He also owns SFR, the second-largest mobile phone and internet provider in France, as well as Altice USA, the fifth-largest American cable company.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, following regulatory clearance and shareholder approval.

Image: A live auction at Sotheby’s. (Sotheby’s)
Tags: BidFair USA, bonhams, Epiris, Patrick Drahi, Rapaport News, Sotheby’s, Tad Smith
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