Published: June 4, 2002
NEW YORK CITY – Sotheby’s confirmed June 3 that A. Alfred Taubman has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission an amended Schedule 13D in which he announced his intention to work in cooperation with the Company to explore a possible sale or merger of Sotheby’s or the sale of his stake in the company.
Taubman, who owns approximately 13.2 million shares of Class B Common Stock of Sotheby’s Holdings, with each share entitled to 10 votes, has approximately 62.9 of the total votes of Sotheby’s. In connection with the coordinated sale effort, Taubman has agreed not to enter into an agreement to sell his shares for a period of 90 days, beginning today, without the consent of Sotheby’s. After this 90-day period, Taubman may sell his stake in accordance with the right of first offer described in the company’s articles of incorporation.
Michael Sovern, chairman of Sotheby’s Holdings, the parent company of Sotheby’s worldwide auction, real estate and financial services businesses, said: “Sotheby’s and its advisors will be working closely with Mr Taubman and his advisors over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition to new ownership or control and to achieve an outcome that is in the overall interests of the organization, its employees and all of its shareholders.”
Over the next several weeks, Goldman Sachs, which represents Taubman and Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan which represent Sotheby’s, will contact qualified parties who may have an interest in Sotheby’s. “Although difficult to predict, we expect that this process will take at least several months before it is concluded,” said Bill Ruprecht, president and chief executive officer.
“Without question, the most valuable resource Sotheby’s has is its people” concluded Ruprecht. “They are responsible for the wonderful sales we are holding around the world this spring and for preserving strong relationships with our clients. Their dedication during a period which has had its share of unique challenges has been remarkable, and the Sotheby’s Board and I are enormously appreciative of their efforts.”
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