A Minority Stake Acquisition at Sotheby’s

A Minority Stake is Available for Purchase at Sotheby's After Its Owner, Patrick Drahi, Harnessed Resources.

Dec 9, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
sotheby-s-headquarters, A Minority Stake
Sotheby’s worldwide headquarters on York Avenue, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, via Wikimedia Commons.


A minority stake is available for purchase at Sotheby’s after its French Israeli owner, Patrick Drahi, harnessed resources in connection with his telco conglomerate Altice. The auction house approached a few potential buyers, but Sotheby’s CEO Charlie Stewart disputed the auction company is taking bids from the general public.


A Minority Stake Sale is Not for General Public

Sotheby's 2023 Auction, A Minority Stake
Sotheby’s auctioneer during the March 2 ‘Now’ Evening sale in London.


The Financial Times reported the story on the auction house. Overall, their report consists of two anonymous sources. They explained how the auction house contacted European-based affluent investors. Thus too was the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), an entity dedicated to managing money, founded in 2005 and controls the government of Qatar’s holdings.


According to reports, the QIA had conversations with the proprietor of the auction house a year ago over buying a share in Sotheby’s. This entity wanted to do it through a possible capital raise, a move intended to fund a new venture. According to the article, Drahi did not officially explore intentions to sell his interest in Sotheby’s. The conversations came to an end.


Disappointing Results for Long Museum, A Minority Stake
Modigliani’s Paulette Jourdain sold for $34.8 million with premium during Sotheby’s sale of works from the Long Museum.


In 2019, Drahi paid $3.7 billion through his family business to acquire the auction business. Following the owner’s August statement, there were private offers for the sale of a minority position in Sotheby’s. He had a strategy to use Altice’s holdings as leverage to pay off a $60 billion loan. The debt generated as a result of purchases made in Israel, the US, Portugal, and France.

Get the latest articles delivered to your inbox

Sign up to our Free Weekly Newsletter


Sotheby’s Shows Strenght

U.S. Constitution
Courtesy of Sotheby’s


The CEO of Sotheby’s, Stewart, refuted Drahi’s rumoured plans to take Sotheby’s public in an interview recently with Bloomberg. Additionally, he stated that the company didn’t require capital raising to finance its activities. In the run-up to initial public offerings (IPOs), firms frequently make partial sales pitches to private investors.


Stewart also stated in the interview that periodically gauging investor interest is typical.  He claimed that Sotheby’s recently showed “strength”. He also noted aales of the house will likely reach $8 billion in 2023, or around identically as they did the year before. The QIA and Sotheby’s personnel chose not to respond when asked why the talks terminated.


U.S. Constitution
Courtesy of Sotheby’s


The announcement arrives at a time when wealth managers and their allies are tense due to the Israel-Hamas conflict. The CEOs of auction houses have mostly refrained from discussing how the war would affect their companies and have not made any public comments on the fighting.













Author Image

By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.