News Column

Third Point nominating 3 for Sotheby's board

February 27, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) Hedge fund Third Point LLC is nominating three people for Sotheby's board, including its founder and CEO Daniel Loeb.

Third Point which is Sotheby's biggest shareholder with a 9.2 percent stake said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that it is nominating Loeb, Harry Wilson and Olivier Reza for the auction house's board because it thinks current board members "lack the fresh perspective necessary to overhaul the company's challenged operational structure and cure its cultural malaise."

Wilson is chairman and CEO of Maeva Group LLC, which assists with corporate turnaround and restructuring efforts. Reza heads the House of Alexandre Reza, a luxury jeweler in Paris.

Sotheby's responded saying it is "disappointed" Third Point chose to launch a proxy battle over the board's makeup and said it is confident the company is on the right track. It noted it had previously offered Loeb a spot on the board and has had several meetings since August with Third Point to discuss its concerns and company strategy.

Loeb's Third Point and hedge fund Marcato Capital Management LP have been pressing for changes at Sotheby's.

Last month the Sotheby's announced that it was separating its agency and financial services divisions. It also said that it planned to evaluate its real estate holdings in New York and London over the next year or two and was considering options for its New York headquarters.

Sotheby's stock shed 19 cents to $50.32 in afternoon trading.

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Source: Associated Press

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