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October 08, 2008

Phillips de Pury sells the company to the Russians!

In yesterday's news wire we heard the auction house, Phillips de Pury & Co has sold itself Majmoscow_wideweb to theRussians! The new owner will be The Mercury Group of Moscow.

Mercury is a luxury department store owner in Russia.

Here's the details of the story..from Bloomberg News.

Congrats to Phillip's Simon de Pury  for selling out at the top of the market.... !

We guess.. the Russians are not just buying our American Contemporary Art.. but now they are buying an entire art auction house!

It will be interesting to see with a new deep pocket owner, if Phillips tries to expand and take market share away from Christies, and Sothebys... Hey... Now.. maybe a good time to cut those crazy buyer premiums !!


Russia's Mercury Group Buys London Art Company Phillips de Pury

2008-10-06 15:05:45.990 GMT   By John Varoli

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Moscow-based Mercury Group has bought control of Phillips de Pury & Company, the New York and London- based auction house said today in an e-mailed statement.

Phillips's founder and chairman, Simon de Pury, retains his position and stake in the company as part of what the e-mailed news release calls ``a strategic partnership.''

``We have seen tremendous growth in the company over the last four years,'' said De Pury in the statement. ``This partnership with a major player in the luxury sector will allow us to provide a unique platform to new and fast-growing markets.

Russia has clearly emerged as an important art market.''

Phillips said in the statement that its contemporary-art sales rose 80 percent in the first half of 2008 compared with the same period in 2007. Besides auctions, Phillips conducts private sales, selling exhibitions, and helps clients build collections.

Mercury owns the TSUM department store in downtown Moscow, and the Barvikha Luxury Village in a Moscow suburb. Its shops sell brands such as Gucci, Prada, Giorgio Armani and Rolex. It also has showrooms for Ferrari, Maserati and Bentley cars.

In October 2007, the Luxury Village hosted the first contemporary-art exhibition in Russia by Gagosian Gallery, the art world's global leader in exhibition space.

``For us, particularly, it represents a substantially expanded capital base,'' said Ariel Childs, spokeswoman for Phillips de Pury, in a telephone interview. ``It means we can grow. It's an added level of support that we are very pleased to have. I would expect that we'll be holding sales in Moscow. We will keep our focus on contemporary art and design and the core business values will remain.''


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I think it would be a shame if Phillips de Pury & Company expanded as it would seem that they do well as a more boutique and specialised auction house and offer something different from the really big boys.


I agree, I think Phillips has built a great brand with the type of artists and work they sell and show, I hope they don't change it.

And I also agree with Mao.

"Now.. maybe a good time to cut those crazy buyer premiums !!!!!!!"

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