Third Point Seeks Sotheby’s Board Seats

Feb 28 2014 | 10:46am ET

Third Point has launched a proxy battle with auction house Sotheby’s, which the activist hedge fund has called “an Old Master painting in desperate need of restoration.”

The New York-based firm nominated founder Daniel Loeb and two others to Sotheby’s board. Third Point said yesterday that the company needed “new blood and fresh views” and a shakeup of its “entrenched” board.

The move comes four months after Loeb demanded a seat on the Sotheby’s board and the ouster of CEO William Ruprecht, who he accused of a “lack of leadership and strategic vision.” Third Point owns a 9.5% stake in Sotheby’s.

In addition to board representation and a new CEO, Loeb called on Sotheby’s to improve its “chronically weak operating margins” and to focus more on modern and contemporary art.

Sotheby’s, which yesterday announced a 37% increase in fourth-quarter profit, said it was disappointed by Loeb’s move.

“Third Point’s actions are particularly unfortunate given the efforts that Sotheby’s has made to reach an agreement with Mr. Loeb,” it said.

In addition to Loeb, Third Point has nominated Maeva Group CEO Harry Wilson and jewelry executive Olivier Reza.


In Depth

Bob Doll's Ten Market Predictions For 2016

Jan 7 2016 | 9:37pm ET

Well-known market strategist Robert Doll has published his annual list of ten predictions...

Lifestyle

Citadel's Ken Griffin Donates $40M To New York's Museum of Modern Art

Dec 22 2015 | 9:23pm ET

Citadel founder Ken Griffin has donated $40 million to New York’s Museum of Modern...

Guest Contributor

Hedge Fund Marketing - Making the Most of Your Salesperson

Jan 20 2016 | 8:11pm ET

In this contributed article, Bruce Frumerman of Frumerman & Nemeth takes a close...