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Patrick Drahi takes Sotheby's private in $3.7 billion deal

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | June 17, 2019
Sothebys
Acquisition   The offer represented a premium of 61% to Sotheby’s closing price on Friday

Patrick Drahi, the billionaire behind Altice, agreed to buy Sotheby’s in a deal worth $3.7 billion.

The offer represented a premium of 61% to Sotheby’s closing price on Friday, and gives Sotheby’s a market capitalization of $2.6 billion.

It will result in Sotheby’s returning to private ownership after 31 years as a public company. Founded in London in 1744, Sotheby’s had the distinction of being the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The deal will require approval from the company’s shareholders and clearance from regulators but is otherwise expected to become effective in the fourth quarter of this year.

The Sotheby’s chief executive, Tad Smith, said the auction house’s growth plans would be easier to achieve in a “flexible private environment”.

Sotheby’s has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 1988 but its 275-year history predates the existence of the Wall Street exchange by nearly 50 years.

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