Third Point

Remember when Third Point manager Dan Loeb told auction house Sotheby’s that it didn’t know dick about contemporary art? And demanded its chairman and CEO, William Ruprecht do the honorable thing and fire himself? And noted that Sotheby’s management in general was a joke? And (“jokingly”) described his campaign to “undermine the credibility” of Ruprecth as a “holy Jihad“? Now that the two sides have made nice– and Sotheby’s has given Third Point three spots on its board–, the auctioneers are going to compensate the Maestro of Mockery for his troubles. Read more »

For the most part, 2013 was not kind to Steve Cohen. The Feds put his balls in a jar and put that jar on Preet Bharara’s desk. One of his ex-employees went to trial for (and was later found guilty of) masterminding the “most lucrative insider trading scheme ever.” Other former traders helped bring the number of SAC alums indicted on securities fraud charges to nine. His genius idea to give out free hot dogs on the front lawn of SAC HQ failed to prevent a number of departures. He lost his biggest fan. For a lot of hedge fund managers, all of this would add up to moping around the office and turning in less than stellar work. For Steve Cohen, it meant turning up the Styx and getting down to business. Read more »

Did Third Point chief Dan Loeb recently tell friends he had a plan to “undermine the credibility” of Sotheby’s Chairman and CEO William Ruprecht? Yes. Did Ruprecht refer to Loeb as “scum”? Indeed. Are the two men going to let either of these things make Sotheby’s board meetings, at which they’ll be working together, awkward in the slightest? Of course not. Why would you think that? Read more »

Proxy Advisory Endorses Dan Loeb’s Art Expertise

ISS thinks that Sotheby’s shareholders should give Dan Loeb exactly twice as many seats as he could have had without engaging in a proxy fight. Glass Lewis, less so. Read more »

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: Read more »

  • 04 Apr 2014 at 2:20 PM

Dan Loeb Only Has Two Problems With Sotheby’s

Ahead of the company’s annual meeting on May 6, he would like to remind shareholders what those two problems are: 1. He (still) thinks management sucks and 2. In Loeb’s opinion, Team Sotheby’s knows dick about selling art. Read more »

Andrew Liveris will give the Third Point chief the share buyback program he wants—not because he asked for it, but because Dow was going to do it anyway. But he’s having none of this “spin off your petrochemical business” nonsense, because Warren Buffett says he doesn’t have to. Read more »