Reportedly, Sotheby's shareholders will receive $57 per share of common stock. The offer price represents a premium of 61% to 'Sotheby's closing price on June 14, 2019, and a 56.3% premium to the 'company's 30 trading-day volume weighted average share price.
Founded in London in 1744 before expanding overseas in the 20th century, Sotheby's had the distinction of being the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Tad Smith, Sotheby's CEO, said that Drahi "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". The agency said that as part of the deal, Bidfair USA, a company owned by Drahi, valued the art-house at $3.7 billion.
Patrick Drahi, a French-Israeli businessman, founded the telecom company Altice in 2001 in Europe, and over the course of almost 20 years, he has turned Altice into a multinational broadband, telecommunications, media, digital and advertising company.
Drahi has also been selling non-core assets in recent years to ease concerns over the debt levels of his businesses.
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"For my entire life, I have been passionate about this industry and I believe the opportunities and growth potential are significant for Sotheby's", said Drahi, who described the stories auctioneer as a "fascinating and multi-secular company" which has been "uniting people all over the world through culture and arts". It reported an adjusted profit past year of close to US$130 million and revenue of more than US$1 billion. Sotheby's second-biggest shareholder is Daniel Loeb's Third Point hedge fund. And, with sales of art-collectibles waning, the headquarters was soon shifted to North America.
Altice bought the New York-area Cablevision cable company in 2015. Since 1998, Christie's has been owned by Groupe Artémis, the holding company of French businessman François-Henri Pinault.
Sotheby's was founded in London in 1744, and expanded overseas in the 20th century, moving to NY in 1955, Asia and France in 2001. BNP Paribas and Morgan Stanley are acting as financial advisors to BidFair, BNP Paribas acted as sole financing provider, and Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and Ropes & Gray International LLP are serving as its legal advisors.
Sotheby's is famous for auctioning one-of-a-kind collectibles such as famous paintings, sculptures, memorabilia, jewelry, and other items.