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Headlines and Highlights: Week of June 16th

Headlines and Highlights: Week of June 16th
June 9, 2023
Keenan Flack

Perrotin Galleries Enters Negotiations with Colony IM for Majority Stake Sale

The Negotiations: European PE and real estate firm, Colony Investment Management, is in exclusive talks to acquire a 60% stake in Perrotin galleries, an acclaimed contemporary art platform that represents significant artists like Takashi Murakami, Maurizio Cattelan, Sophie Calle, and Pierre Soulages. The galleries' founder, Emmanuel Perrotin, is set to retain a 40% stake post-acquisition, per the joint announcement from the involved parties.

The Gallery: Over the last three decades, Perrotin and his dedicated team have grown the gallery into a formidable player in the contemporary art scene, boasting a strong international presence with locations in cities like New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Dubai, and a soon-to-open Los Angeles outlet. Perrotin galleries are known not only for representing major artists but also for their growing footprint in the retail sales of prints, books, and other art-related products.

The Buyer: Colony IM, helmed by Nadra Moussalem, is a prominent firm with a notable portfolio of investments in prime Parisian lifestyle locations. The potential Perrotin acquisition marks their first foray into the art gallery space, marrying their corporate infrastructure with Perrotin's artistic passion, all aimed at future expansion and growth.

The Bottom Line: The exact terms of the deal are yet to be revealed, but if all goes well, the transaction should conclude by the second half of 2023. This capital influx is set to further bolster Perrotin’s ambitions to expand into new territories like London, Zurich, and Istanbul and potentially facilitate more gallery acquisitions. The success of this strategic move, however, remains to be seen. BLOOMBERG

Mark Salzberg Bids Adieu to the CCG® after a Nearly 40-Year Tenure


The News: Mark Salzberg, a venerated figure and expert in the collectibles realm, announced his impending retirement in June 2023, marking the end of an illustrious career that spans nearly 40 years with the Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®). Salzberg’s retirement will usher in the end of an era that witnessed numerous transformative contributions to the world of collectibles.

The Career: Starting with Certified Collectibles Group in 1988 when it was merely NGC®, a budding coin grading startup, Salzberg quickly realized that NGC's impartial and expert services would shift the collecting landscape from a niche pastime to a vigorous industry. It was apparent by the late '90s that third-party certification had completely overhauled the collecting hobby.

The Transition: Following CCG’s acquisition by Blackstone in mid-2021, Salzberg was able to take a step back from the day-to-day operations while retaining a seat on the CCG Board of Directors. Upon his retirement at the end of June, he will exit the board with confidence in its trajectory and the proficiency of the CCG executive team.

The Future: As Salzberg embraces his retirement, he looks forward to devoting more time to family and travel. He is also working on a mobile game with a strong collectibles component, hinting at an exciting new phase in his professional journey. His passion for collectibles remains undimmed and his enthusiasm for new ventures is a testament to his lasting contribution to the industry. Salzberg’s career has not only changed the face of the global collectibles landscape but has also served as an inspiration for those who will carry his legacy forward. NGC

Interview: NGC posted a great video interview with the man himself a couple of months ago, going into his career and history with the company. A great watch for anyone interested in the history of the collectibles industry.

Alts and Ends

In this edition, we explored a remarkable and lucrative furniture discovery, the mystifying lag of hockey memorabilia, and the aftermath of fractional comic book buyouts. Check out all three stories here!

Collectible Happenings

Guillaume Cerutti, CEO of Christie's, spoke with the Wall Street Journal about his company's strategy and outlook during the pandemic and beyond. Despite challenges, Christie's has found opportunities to grow and diversify, including increasing private sales to about 30% of total sales and fostering partnerships with art fairs. He also noted that the company is actively seeking ways to diversify its talent pool and is following developments in digital and new media art closely. Cerutti highlighted the significant role of Asian buyers in the market and expressed a cautious perspective on young artists being quickly propelled to high prices​. WSJ

Bonhams, under CEO Bruno Vinciguerra, has significantly grown its business through acquisitions of regional auction houses across the globe, such as Bukowskis in Stockholm and Skinner in Boston, and by focusing on digital sales, which represented 44% of the value of all items sold in 2022. The auction house has strategically targeted a "core market" of lots valued at under $1 million, and has leveraged its expanded network and digital investments to serve a broader, international customer base, resulting in a turnover of $1 billion in sales last year and continued double-digit growth. BARRONS

The burglary at Panini America's offices in Irving, Texas, resulted in nearly $200,000 in property loss and damage, including four storage servers and other electronic equipment worth over $160,000. An expert suggests the theft was likely targeted at the data on the stolen hard drives, but no arrests have been made yet. SPORTS COLLECTORS DAILY

John Reyes and his family discovered more than a million copper pennies in the crawlspace of his father-in-law's former home in Los Angeles. After attempting to sell the pennies through banks and online platforms without success, the family is now open to offers for the coins, which they estimate to be worth more than $10,000 in normal currency and have listed for $25,000 on a resale app due to their potential value and uniqueness. KTLA

UBS has completed its acquisition of Credit Suisse, causing uncertainty around the continuation of the latter's art world sponsorships with entities like Kunsthaus Zurich, Kunstmuseum Basel, and the National Gallery in London. Despite the potential disruption in these longstanding partnerships, an art law specialist believes that existing agreements will likely be upheld by UBS unless the contracts state otherwise. THEARTNEWSPAPER

US mega-dealer Larry Gagosian has appointed Andreas Rumbler, a former chairman of Christie's in Switzerland, as the director for his Swiss galleries. Rumbler, who aims to grow the Swiss art market, will oversee operations across Gagosian's three Swiss locations in Geneva, Basel, and Gstaad. THEARTNEWSPAPER

Sotheby’s has begun selling the catalog for their Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own, in partnership with Hatchards in the UK. The catalog features both memorabilia from his music career and art from his eclectic collection. The sale will take place in London this coming September. HATCHARDS

The last portrait painted by Gustav Klimt, "Dame mit Fächer" (Lady with a Fan), is set to carry the highest estimate ever put on a painting in Europe or the UK at over £65m in a Sotheby’s auction this June. This non-commissioned piece, depicting an unknown sitter, was completed in 1917 for Klimt's own enjoyment and is noted for its unique looseness, spontaneity, and evident influences from Chinese and Japanese culture. THEARTNEWSPAPER

Altan Content

What are the Most Expensive Sneakers Ever Sold?

As the sneaker resale and collecting phenomenon converges with rapidly increasing interest in sports memorabilia, sales of rare sneakers have taken to stratospheric prices. We’re talking six and seven-figures near routinely. Over the last few years, the record books have been rewritten almost entirely. What do those most expensive sneaker record books look like today? 

Auction Action: The Goldin 100 Preview (Part 1)

In this edition of Auction Action, preview the top lots set to sell in the first part of the Goldin 100. The top lots we break down include two Superman comics, an Ovechkin PSA 10, a Pikachu Illustrator, and the iconic Flu Game Shoes.

Bids and Battles: Tracing Six Legal Disputes in the Auction World

Auction houses sell millions of objects every year to much fanfare; jewelry, paintings, books, sports memorabilia, and so on. Given the high stakes and personal connections to these items, it's unsurprising that disputes over ownership often arise. The outcomes are never consistent, as each situation is likely centered around a unique item owned (or not owned) by someone with a story to tell--attempting to prove themselves the rightful owner.

Rock and Roll Never Forgets: Music Memorabilia Auction Activity Still Jamming

This is the first edition of a multi-part blog series, produced in partnership with The Realest, on the key events and factors shaping the modern music memorabilia market. The Realest is the first dedicated authentication standard and marketplace for music memorabilia.

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