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Sotheby's To Pay Dan Loeb $10 Million For The Privilege Of Having Him Tell The Auction House How Much It Sucks

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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.

On Wednesday, Sotheby’s told investors that it had spent $5.7 million to deal with shareholder activism and a long proxy battle with Mr. Loeb’s firm, Third Point. The company also said it planned to pay Mr. Loeb $10 million to reimburse him for his troubles. The disclosure was made as Sotheby’s announced its first-quarter financial results and came two days after the auction house said it had agreed to give board seats to Mr. Loeb and two of his allies, giving the hedge fund manager a victory after a bitter seven-month battle. During an earnings call, the Sotheby’s chief executive, William F. Ruprecht, said the company’s expenses increased by nearly a quarter for the first three months of year, in part because of “special charges related to shareholder activism and the resulting proxy contest.” George Sutton, an analyst at Craig Hallum, then asked Mr. Ruprecht to repeat the total costs. “I’m not sure I heard that correctly,” he said. Mr. Ruprecht repeated the $5.7 million figure and added that Sotheby’s expected to incur “an incremental $12 million to $15 million, of which $10 million will be the reimbursement of Third Point’s expenses.” “O.K.,” Mr. Sutton replied. “So I had hoped I had heard it wrong, but I didn’t.”

Sotheby’s to Reimburse Loeb $10 Million [Dealbook]
Loeb Wins by Losing at Sotheby’s [MoneyBeat]
Awkward Moment On Sothebys Call As CEO Announces $10M For Loeb [ValueWalk]