BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 3 June, 2002, 21:34 GMT 22:34 UK
Sotheby's puts itself up for sale
Auction at Sotheby's in Paris
The scam defrauded art sellers out of millions
Sotheby's and its disgraced former chairman Alfred Taubman are trying to sell his majority stake in the auction house or find a merger partner.

The new chairman, Michael Sovern, said in a statement that Sotheby's was working closely with Mr Taubman and his advisers to ensure a smooth transition to new ownership or control.

Sotheby's is now poised for growth and well positioned for new ownership

Michael Sovern
Sotheby's chairman

The New York auction house also said it expects operating profits to rebound this year, after surprisingly strong sales in spring.

Mr Taubman owns about 13.2m Sotheby's shares, which represents a voting majority of about 62.9%, according to documents he filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

Growth

In April, he was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and fined $7.5m (5.1m) for his role in a price-fixing conspiracy that shook the art world.
Former Sotheby's chairman Alfred Taubman
Alfred Taubman is working closely with Sotheby's

Mr Taubman, who is in his late 70s, is appealing against the conviction.

He is going to work with Sotheby's to explore a possible sale or merger of the company, and has agreed not enter into an agreement to sell his shares for a period of 90 days without its consent.

Art sales

"Sotheby's is now poised for growth and well positioned for new ownership," Mr Sovern said.

The company said its alliance with eBay Inc., the leading online auction company, is on track to begin in early summer and is expected to significantly strengthen Sotheby's Internet business.

Sotheby's also said it sold over $200 million of impressionist, modern and contemporary art in a two-week sale in May.

Sotheby's and Christie's allegedly fixed commissions between 1993 and 1999 to boost profits during a downturn in the art world.

The scandal resulted in an unprecedented $512 million settlement with clients to be shared by the two houses.

See also:

16 May 02 | Entertainment
09 May 02 | Entertainment
23 Apr 02 | Americas
06 Dec 01 | Americas
05 Dec 01 | Americas
28 Nov 01 | Europe
12 Oct 01 | Business
16 Jul 01 | Business
28 Feb 00 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes