Shareholder Seeks Class Action Suit to Block Sotheby’s Sale to Drahi

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Sotheby's

Days after Sotheby's shareholders Eli Goffman and Shiva Stein filed separate lawsuits in federal court in Manhattan against the sale of the auction house to BidFair USA, another lawsuit has been filed by Michael Kent, also a shareholder. Legal actions claim “incomplete and misleading disclosures” in the sale, and seek unspecified damages.

Kent is seeking class-action status for the suit, which was filed in a US District Court in Delaware, according to artnet.

French-Israeli telecom magnate Patrick Drahi's company BidFair was announced as the buyer of publicly-traded Sotheby's for $3.7 billion in June. The move would take the company private after 31 years, with Sotheby’s shareholders receiving $57 per share of its common stock.

Artsy reporter Nate Freeman points out that the Sotheby's sale, with its accompanying loss of shareholder gaze and public earnings reports, could greatly alter the art market---namely, even less opaqueness at the top end of the market and a tighter race for top-tier consignments.

Still, Sotheby's might entertain higher bids from other private investors, say insiders, according to the NY Post.

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