Loeb Blasts Sotheby's Poison Pill As 'Relic From The 1980s'

Oct 7 2013 | 9:43am ET

Third Point's Daniel Loeb ratcheted up his rhetoric in his battle with auction-house Sotheby's.

The New York-based hedge fund last week launched a campaign to oust Sotheby's CEO William Ruprecht, who Loeb said lacked "leadership and strategic vision." Sotheby's responded by adopting a poison-pill that would prevent Third Point from buying more than 10% of its shares.

That did not sit well with Loeb, who called the move "a relic from the 1980s" and a "disproportionate response to the valid concerns expressed in our Oct. 2 letter."

"Rather than address our well-documented citations of mismanagement and initiate a constructive dialogue with its largest shareholder, the board and CEO have attempted to further entrench themselves," Loeb wrote, adding "it is clear that today, the chief executive officer and his hand-picked directors have put their job security ahead of shareholders."

In addition to Ruprecht's exit, Loeb is seeking a board seat for himself and the addition of other new directors. Sotheby's called the approach "incendiary and baseless." But Loeb made clear he was ready to go to war.

"Given their personal interests and miniscule shareholdings of Sotheby's, the board's actions—disenfranchising its owners who may wish to acquire a more significant stake—come as no surprise," Loeb wrote. "We hope this will be the Ruprecht board's final snub to its shareholders. It would be unfortunate if they instead refuse to undertake a fresh start until one is imposed upon them during proxy season."


In Depth

Q&A: Open Season For Closed-End Funds

Aug 29 2014 | 10:00am ET

When Maury Fertig and Bob Huffman, former Salomon Brothers coworkers, launched...

Lifestyle

Och Funds Women In Finance Initiative At U-M

Aug 28 2014 | 3:01pm ET

Och-Ziff Capital founder Daniel Och and his wife have made a "generous donation"...

Guest Contributor

Looking Ahead: What’s In Store For Managed Futures?

Aug 22 2014 | 12:52pm ET

The last five years were phenomenal for investors in equity indices. Will the next...

 

Editor's Note

    Get A Sneak Peak Of The Alpha Pages

    Aug 25 2014 | 11:21am ET

    As many of you know, FINalternatives was recently acquired by the owners of Futures magazine, a firm called The Alpha Pages LLC. Today marks the soft-launch of a new sister site for both publications. As its name suggests, The Alpha Pages will cover all types of alternative investments, going far beyond the more well-known ones such as hedge funds and private equity. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

July/August 2014 Cover

The time was right

Commodities/Futures magazine launched at the precipice of a revolution in the futures industry—really a revolution in the idea of risk management—that would move it from a small niche industry to ...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.