On Monday, the 17th of June 2019, billionaire Patrick Drahi’s telecom and media group Altice had issued a statement, saying that the group had reached an accord to purchase Sotheby's at a deal worth of $3.7 billion, which would likely to remark the storied art auction house’s return to private ownership after more than three decades.
In fact, the acquisition would allow the avid art collector Drahi to join the league of legends of art worlds and New York Society, including rival French billionaire Francois Pinault, while Pinault’s holding company Artemis had been holding a majority stake in Sotheby rival Christie’s.
However, followed by Altice’s Monday’s (June 17th) statement, Sotheby's officials had been quoted saying that the takeover deal would be conducted by BidFair USA, an acquisition instrument set up Drahi, while Altice had been offering $57 per share for Sotheby.
Besides, the offer would represent a premium of 61 percent to Sotheby’s Friday (June 14th) closing price and proffer it a market capitalization of $2.6 billion. More crucially, the landmark takeover deal would result in Sotheby return to private ownership after passing 31 year as a publicly traded company.
Founded back in 1744 at the heart of London, Sotheby's had been the oldest publicly traded company in New York Stock Exchange.