Two major auction houses in the hands of French billionaires. After François Pinault with Christie’s, it is Patrick Drahi with Sotheby’s.

The art market grew by another 4% in 2018, the market is still dynamic in the United Kingdom despite the Brexit ^^

Museums are also following the trend and are among the indicators. 8 of the 10 largest auctions were carried out by public and private institutions. There is the image that art brings to a billionaire or a state, certainly, but also profitability because a “sensational” exhibition – such as the one on Egypt at the moment in Paris – or quite simply a beautiful retrospective on a well-known artist makes admissions and, of course, profits thanks to derived products.

Sotheby’s has just signed a merger agreement with BidFair USA, an entity wholly owned by Patrick Drahi, a media entrepreneur and art lover.

Shareholders, including employee shareholders, received $57.00 in cash per Sotheby’s common share, equivalent to a bonus of 61% over the June 2019 price and a bonus of 56.3% over the average price.

The operation makes the auction house once again become a private independent company after 31 years during which it was valued every day on the stock exchange (NYC)

Patrick Drahi, CEO of Altice Europe, Altice USA, Suddenlink, Cablevision and Cheddar, seems unwilling to change the strategy and invest for the long term.

The transaction was carried out through a combination of equity and financing through BNP Paribas of more than USD 3.5 billion for a value at Wall Streets that is 60% higher than the stock market price 🤯

I note, of course, that the number of millionaires and billionaires in Asia and the Middle East and the explosion of private foundations are fuelling the desire to do business. Especially since these new actors rely heavily on deceased artists. And then another advantage of auction houses is that they sell not only art but also all kinds of collectibles. To be continued….