Client Highlight: Sotheby's

Client Highlight: Sotheby's

S&C Guides Sotheby’s in Acquisition of Art Agency, Partners

In early 2016, the iconic auction house Sotheby’s made a strategic move when it acquired Art Agency, Partners (AAP), an entrepreneurial consulting group, founded in 2014, that assists individual clients and institutions in the assessment, development and planning of art collections.

Sotheby’s scooped up the consulting firm in a deal valued at $85 million. Upon announcement, The New York Times called the transaction “a highly unorthodox move bound to shake up the auction world.” To execute the deal, Sotheby’s turned to an integrated team of Sullivan & Cromwell lawyers who provided the auction house with M&A, executive compensation, tax and antitrust counsel.

The expertise of AAP’s executives was a perfect fit for Sotheby’s, which, in a competitive market, sought to expand its art advisory service offerings and strengthen its presence in high-end modern and contemporary art.