Back in October, hedge fund manager Dan Loeb sent a letter William Ruprecht, to the CEO of Sotheby’s, in which he made the following points:

  • Sotheby’s is completely ignorant about contemporary art
  • Ruprecht is overpaid
  • Sotheby’s is a joke compared to Christie’s
  • In spite of all this, Sotheby’s future can be salvaged, but it’ll take firing Ruprecht and adding Loeb and a few directors of Loeb’s choice to the board

Shockingly, Sotheby’s did not appreciate the constructive criticism, and adopted a poison pill to ward off Loeb and Co. Last week, Loeb reiterated his position in an open letter to Sotheby’s shareholders, in which he underscored that, in his professional opinion, the auction house knows nothing about selling art. (He also reminded them to vote Loeb ’14 at the company’s annual meeting in May.)

Team Sotheby’s, apparently sick of Loeb’s shit, did what any corporate entity does when it’s decided its done play Mr. Nice Guy: assembled its top men and women in a conference room and declared that no one could leave until they’d come up with a 53-slide PowerPoint rebuttal.

Said rebuttal can be viewed in its entirety here, but it mostly boils down to:

And:

But Sotheby’s is not the only organization with a graphics department willing to work overtime! Knocking the ball back uptown is Third Point with Value Sotheby’s, a website wherein Loeb et al makes their case re: why shareholders should listen to them (de rigeur these days with the activist investing set). There are a lot of words on a lot of pages, but they’ll let their contemporary Photoshop talk for them:

We’ll keep you posted as this story develops.

Earlier: Dan Loeb Pens His Dan Loeb-iest Letter Yet

12 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (12)

  1. Posted by Thornton Melon | April 9, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    I was just admiring your wifes Klempt

    You too, shes showing everyone

    I think Sotheby's biggest downfall is that it has yet to sell Stevie C an overvalued piece of flaming dogshit disguised as art

  2. Posted by guest | April 9, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    key word there being "yet"

  3. Posted by WTF Do I Know? | April 9, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    DL is obviously a bright dude but wtf does he know about valuing art? Seems like an odd fight to pick, things like Icahn wanting Apple to work with its cash seems to make more sense.

  4. Posted by Quant me maybe... | April 9, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    RE This shit (Part V)

    WTF DO YOU KNOW? NOTHING!

    DUELING POWER POINTS! A WEB SITE! LOEB'S MASSIVE EGO COUPLED WITH THE FACT THAT HE DID NOT GET AN EARLY LOOK AT THE SPRING POST WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART (EVENING) AUCTION! WAR I TELL YOU! NO PRISONERS! NOT EVEN THE DOMESTICATED ANIMALS SHALL BE LEFT ALIVE!

    >After all, it's the journey not the destination.

  5. Posted by guest | April 9, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    this seems fair.

  6. Posted by investorcluzo | April 9, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    Sotheby's presentation looks like it was done by a 1st year associate who is figuring out his/her way around PowerPoint. While Third Point's presentation looks like it was done by the guy that did Frozen.

    -Investor Presentation Quant

  7. Posted by guest | April 9, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    I don't know man, check out the varying shades and alignment of the ellipses on Sotheby's slide 20.

    Might be a 2nd year.

  8. Posted by Turnip Truck | April 9, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    Really missed an opportunity to put, say, Ruprecht's face on the painting.

    Also not sure why the person is applying chalk to what appears to be an oil painting, but I'm sure Loeb knows better than me.

  9. Posted by Almost | April 9, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Such a great movie that it must be quoted accurately.

    Trendy Man: Mr. Melon, your wife was just showing us her Klimt.
    Thornton Melon: You too, huh? She's shown it to everybody.
    Trendy Man: Well, she's very proud of it.
    Thornton Melon: I'm proud of mine too. I don't go waving it around at parties, though.
    Trendy Man: It's an exceptional painting.
    Thornton Melon: Oh, the painting.

  10. Posted by Anon | April 10, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    Maybe because the Sotheby's system is different. A bank hires good looking people, teaches them PPT and Excel, works them to death and pays well. Sotheby's hires good looking people (tho fewer square jawed male jocks, more slim and sexy females) and sprinkles them around to make the clients feel good. Oh, and they pay them nothing. Wal-mart wages.

  11. Posted by Lord Humongous | April 10, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Good looking people? Have you worked at a bank?

  12. Posted by Guest | April 10, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Q-tip bro

    – guest with 20/20 vision