Third Point Upps its Stake In Sothebys (BID); Nominates Directors to the Board

Dan Loeb’s Third Point, has raised its stake in Sothebys (NYSE:BID), as revealed in a new filing with the Security and Exchange Commission. The fund now owns around 6.7 million, which is equal to 9.6% of the common stock. Previously, Third Point disclosed ownership of around 6.6 million shares of Sothebys.

The fund also disclosed that Harry J. Wilson and Olivier Reza have been nominated for election to the company’s board at the 2014 annual meeting of stockholders

Third Point

Mr. Loeb beneficially owns 6.7 million shares and Mr. Wilson owns 15,000 shares of common stock of Sothebys (NYSE:BID). Both of them have earlier served on the board of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) from May 2012 until July 2013, during their tenure the share price gained 91%, yielding a $16 billion of value to the company’s shareholders.

Mr. Loeb became an activist investor on Sothebys (NYSE:BID) in October, 2013. At that time the fund had upped its stake to 6.4 million shares, from 3.9 million, following which Sothebys adopted a ‘poison pill’ to prevent certain shareholders from gaining control on the company.

In October, the fund had also sent a letter to William F. Ruprecht, the CEO, Chairman and President of Sothebys, expressing its concern regarding the company’s strategic direction and leadership. Mr. Loeb pointed about the company’s weak operating margins and a competitive disadvantage in front of its auction house peer Christie’s.

This week, Bruno Vinciguerra, an executive vice president & COO at Sothebys (NYSE:BID), sold 15,701 shares and currently owns some 34,000 shares of the company.

Yesterday, the company announced the nomination of Jessica Bibliowicz, former Chairman and CEO of National Financial Partners Corp. (NFP), and Kevin C. Conroy, President of Digital and Enterprise Development for Univision Communications Inc to its Board at the company’s 2014 annual meeting.

In addition to Third Point, other hedge funds that have been bullish on the company, according to our database include Richard Mcguire’s Marcato Capital Management, which held around 4.6 million shares; followed by York Capital Management, led by James Dinan, with an ownership of some 3.0 million shares.

Third Point has invested a major chunk of its portfolio in Technology, Basic Materials, Services and Consumer Goods. The fund has 6.6% of its equity portfolio in American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG), of which it owns 7.5 million shares, followed by FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX), with a stake of 2.5 million shares worth $359.4 million.

Disclosure: none

Recommended Readings:

Dan Loeb and Third Point Nominate Three Directors to Sothebys (BID)’s Board

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