Last week, Sotheby’s released an online presentation regarding the Third Point nominees for its board, citing that they had ‘no incremental experience’ to join. Third Point has now shot back with a presentation of its own, creating a website called ValueSothebys.com to showcase the nominees’ experience as well as criticize the board’s attack on their experience as a ‘misdirection campaign.’ Third Point also condemns the use of what it claims are Sotheby’s ‘false statements’ and ‘misleading quotations.’
The website states that each nominee owns stock in the company and collectively, the slate represents 9.65% of shares. The website also calls for investors to vote for Loeb’s nominees (leading up to the annual shareholder meeting on May 6th) via a white proxy card received in the mail. According to ValueSothebys.com, Dan Loeb, Harry Wilson and Oliver Reza have tremendous experience with value creation, art collecting and connoisseurship.
Dan Loeb, current CEO to Third Point, is also trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and states in the presentation that he is a ‘leading collector of modern and contemporary art.’ He goes on to state in his presentation that he was recognized by ARTNews as one of the ‘top 200 collectors each year since 2005 and that his personal and family art collections have been showcased at MoMA in New York.
Olivier Reza is Chairman of a private French company of Reza Gem SAS. Previously, he was a Managing Director in Mergers and Acquisitions at Lazard Freres & Co LLC in New York. Mr. Reza is a very active art collector, and the Reza jewelry collection is considered one of the most important collections of rare gems and jewelry in the world.
Harry J. Wilson, Founder and CEO of MAEVA Group, is active in philanthropic and policy initiatives, and has served on the board for two non-profit organizations.
Loeb’s website takes a graphical approach to presenting the challenges Sotheby’s is facing, and how Loeb’s new board members would help the company unlock value currently being tied up in adherence to the status quo. According to Third Point’s letter to Sotheby’s, there are many opportunities for growth. These include investing in front-end technology to promote online sales, using its capital jointly with trusted partners and developing a robust approach to smaller transactions to compete more effectively with Christie’s.