How much does it cost to keep your CEO when Dan Loeb decides he’s a feckless, free-spending moron who doesn’t know the first thing about the kind of art that people like Dan Loeb like to buy? For Sotheby’s, the tab is now as follows: three board seats, putting up with Dan Loeb’s occasional presence and the odd phone call—obnoxious, to be sure, and perhaps something you wouldn’t have subjected yourself to freely, but all the same. Oh yea, and $20.1 million, a.k.a. all of the money you’ve brought in for four-and-a-half months.
The auction company said during a conference call last week that took a special charge of $20.1 million in the first nine months of 2014 for fees associated with its defensive campaign against Loeb, founder of hedge fund Third Point. That equals nearly half of Sotheby's net income for during that period.
In May, Sotheby's put the cost at $15.7 million.