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Saturday 20 July 2019

Under the hammer: Auctioneer Sotheby's sold

An auctioneer (C) gestures during an auction sale at Sotheby's action house in Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
An auctioneer (C) gestures during an auction sale at Sotheby's action house in Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Sudip Kar-Gupta

Patrick Drahi, the billionaire behind telecoms and media group Altice, has agreed to buy historic art auction house Sotheby's in a deal worth $3.7bn (€3.29bn).

Sotheby's confirmed it had signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by BidFair USA, an acquisition vehicle set up by Drahi, which had offered $57 in cash per share to buy out Sotheby's.

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Sotheby will return to private ownership after 31 years as a public company.

Avid art collector Drahi's rival French billionaire Francois Pinault owns a majority stake in Sotheby's rival Christie's. Shares in the auction house jumped 55pc on Monday in reaction to the news.

Reuters

Irish Independent

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