McGuire, Marcato: In a new filing with the SEC, Marcato Capital Management, a hedge fund managed by Richard McGuire, disclosed its presentation during the “Excellence in Investing: San Francisco” conference held yesterday. In the presentation, Marcato presented its case on Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID), and expressed its ideas regarding the company’s value. The key points Marcato made were that Sotheby’s owned real estate and financing operations are strengths that investors may be overlooking. Marcato holds around 4.6 million shares of Sotheby’s, which represent about 6.7% of the company.
Marcato also suggests that Sotheby’s has a lot of excess capital that it can re-invest in itself for the highest return opportunities, and if such opportunities cannot be found, the capital should be returned to shareholders. Also Marcato stated that the auction house has $1.3 billion worth of trapped equity value, which represents around $19 per share. In this way, the company should initiate a $1.3 billion share buyback that would bring more long-term value.
At the beginning of October, Dan Loeb’s Third Point reported raising its stake in Sotheby’s to 9.3%, which made it the largest shareholder of the company. In a letter sent by Third Point to William F. Ruprecht, the Sotheby’s CEO, the hedge fund showed concern about the direction and leadership of the company, as well as its disadvantages in comparison to another big auction house, Christie’s.