Bonhams auction house.

Bonhams Auction House Sold to Private UK-Based Equity Firm

Bonhams, the privately-owned international auction house founded in 1793, announced that it has been acquired by the London-based private equity fund Epiris. While the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the Antiques Trade Gazette reports that the company invests in businesses in the UK that are valued between $95 million and $650 million such as the UK branch of Time Inc. and other print titles. 

Known for its sales of fine art, antiques, cars, and jewelry, the auction house has been up for sale for the last four years. The change of ownership comes on the heels of a highly successful year for Bonhams—it netted $6.2 million at the end of 2017, which is more than double the profits it made in 2016.  

Bruno Vinciguerra, a former chief operating officer of Sotheby’s, will join the auction house’s current CEO Matthew Girling and CFO Jonathan Fairhurst as the new executive chairman. “Bonhams is a business with great potential and a strong track record,” Vinciguerra said in a statement. “I greatly look forward to working with the team to help deliver the next stage of growth.”

Among the private shareholders who have sold their stakes in the company are chairman Robert Brooks, an ex-Christie’s executive, who commenting on the sale, said: “We have always had the intention one day to pass on the business to a new owner who shares our long-term vision for Bonhams. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved at Bonhams and look forward to seeing the business continue to thrive under its new owners.”