Patrick Drahi’s BidFair USA vehicle has agreed to take auction house Sotheby’s private for $3.7bn, a premium of 61% to Sotheby’s closing share price on Friday. BNP Paribas has provided committed debt financing for the all-cash deal, with Morgan Stanley joining as financial advisor.
LionTree advised Sotheby’s on the sale, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter this year. According to merger documents filed with the SEC, some of the buyout debt may be taken out with high yield bonds.
New York-listed Sotheby’s has been a public company for 31