Austrian Tycoon Acquires Essl Collection

  • September 03, 2014 16:10

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Hans Peter Haselsteiner
Austrian construction mogul Hans Peter Haselsteiner has bought the modern art collection of  hardware chain owner Karlheinz Essl who needed fast funds to rescue his flailing BauMax stores, reports Reuters.

Essl had unsuccessfully tried to sell his 7,000-piece collection to the Austrian government. Many works are by Austria's most celebrated artists such as Oskar Kokoschka and Hermann Nitsch.  Also represented are internationally renowned contemporary artists from Gerhard Richter to Anish Kapoor.

According to Die Presse, a new firm has purchased much of the collection for more than 100 million euros ($131 million) while some works may still be sold at auction this October. The new firm is 60 percent owned by a Haselsteiner private fund and 40 percent owned by Essl family funds. 

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The sale will help keep thousands of jobs at BauMax after the company took huge losses from a failed expansion into Eastern Europe and Turkey during the economic crisis.

Read more at Reuters


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