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October 2, 2013
10:19 EDTBIDDan Loeb boosts Sotheby's stake, tells CEO to step down
Dan Loeb's Third Point reported an increased stake of 9.3% in shares of Sotheby's and disclosed a letter sent to the company's CEO William Ruprecht. The letter stated in part, "Notwithstanding Sotheby’s recent efforts – a belated announcement partially addressing poor capital allocation practices and the hiring of a new Chief Financial Officer – we remain concerned about its leadership, shareholder misalignment, strategic direction, and Board governance...In particular, we are troubled by the Company’s chronically weak operating margins and deteriorating competitive position relative to Christie’s, as evidenced by each of the Contemporary and Modern art evening sales over the last several years...Third Point is not only Sotheby’s largest shareholder but also has significant experience and a successful track record of serving on public company boards. I am willing to join the board immediately and help recruit several new directors who have experience increasing shareholder value, share a passion for art, understand technology and luxury brands, or have operated top-performing sales organizations...It is also time, Mr. Ruprecht, for you to step down from your positions as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer and for the role of Chairman to be separated for your successor." Shares of Sotheby's are up 17c to $49.88 following Third Point's filing with SEC.
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