French-Israeli telecommunications entrepreneur Patrick Drahi purchased Sotheby's in a $3.7 billion deal. Announced on Monday, Drahi's company BidFair USA will now make Sotheby's privately owned, like rival Christie's, after it was publicly traded for 31 years on the New York Stock Exchange.
“This acquisition will provide Sotheby’s with the opportunity to accelerate the successful program of growth initiatives of the past several years in a more flexible private environment,” said Tad Smith, chief executive of Sotheby’s, in a statement.
“As a longtime client and lifetime admirer of the company, I am acquiring Sotheby’s together with my family,” Drahi said in a statement. He founded telecom company Altice in the Netherlands in 2001.