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Sotheby’s, London.
Sotheby’s, London.

Sotheby’s Shareholders File Lawsuits to Halt Sale of Auction House

Two Sotheby’s investors, Eli Goffman and Shiva Stein, have filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan in an attempt to block the $3.7 billion sale of the auction house to BidFair USA, which is owned by the media mogul and collector Patrick Drahi, Bloomberg reports. The complaints cite “incomplete and misleading disclosures” as the reason behind the legal action and are seeking unspecified damages.

Sotheby’s was not fazed by the suits. In a statement, the auction house said: “As the vast majority of all public company mergers over $100 million are the subject of shareholder litigation, the lawsuits filed were expected and routine. We do not expect the suits to have any impact on our targeted closing timing of the fourth quarter of this year.”

The auction house announced that it would be acquired by Drahi on June 17. Under the terms of the agreement, which was approved by the Sotheby’s board of directors, the company’s shareholders will receive $57 per share of its common stock, making its enterprise value $3.7 billion. The deal will result in Sotheby’s return to private ownership after thirty-one years as a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange.