Shareholders approve $3.7bn Sotheby’s sale to Drahi

Patrick Drahi

Sotheby’s said on Thursday that its shareholders approved the $3.7 billion cash acquisition of the company by French-Israeli telecom titan and art collector Patrick Drahi.

Drahi is the billionaire behind telecoms and media group Altice.

Under the terms of the deal that was originally announced on June 17, shareholders will receive $57 in cash per share of Sotheby’s common stock.

The price represents a premium of 61% to Sotheby’s closing price on June 14.

“The board of directors would like to thank Sotheby’s shareholders for their vote of confidence in the merger,” said Sotheby’s chairman Domenico De Sole.

“Mr. Drahi’s offer delivers a significant premium to market for our shareholders, including our employee shareholders, and positions Sotheby’s well for the future.”

Sotheby’s CEO Tad Smith said: “This is an historic moment for Sotheby’s and we are very pleased to have the validation of the company’s shareholders.

“Sotheby’s is on track for another strong season with outstanding auctions set to be held in Hong Kong and Contemporary art sales that will inaugurate our newly-renovated space on Bond Street in London early next month.”

The closing of the merger remains subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.