BidFair USA’s $3.7 Billion Acquisition of Sotheby

LionTree Advisors served as financial advisor to Sotheby’s in connection with the transaction, and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP served as the company’s legal counsel. BNP Paribas and Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisors to BidFair, BNP Paribas acted as sole financing provider, and Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and Ropes & Gray International LLP served as its legal advisors. Mayer Brown advised BidFair USA, Inc. as structuring counsel in connection with its acquisition of Sotheby’s Inc. Herbert Smith Freehills has advised BidFair USA regarding the merger control aspects. Fried Frank acted as counsel to LionTree Advisors, financial advisor to Sotheby’s

BidFair USA, an entity wholly owned by media and telecom entrepreneur as well as art collector, Patrick Drahi, acquired Sotheby’s (NYSE: BID).

Sotheby’s auctions fine arts, antiques, and collectibles, offering property in a wide variety of collecting categories. The Company conducts auctions in the United States and other countries. Sotheby’s also purchases and resells art, brokers art, markets and brokers luxury residential real estate, provides art-related financing, and restores art.

Patrick Drahi is a global entrepreneur with telecommunications, media and digital properties across the globe.

Under the terms of the agreement, which was approved by Sotheby’s Board of Directors, shareholders, including employee shareholders, will receive $57.00 in cash per share of Sotheby’s common stock in a transaction with an enterprise value of $3.7 billion.

The offer price represents a premium of 61% to Sotheby’s closing price on June 14, 2019, and a 56.3% premium to the company’s 30 trading-day volume weighted average share price.  The transaction would result in Sotheby’s returning to private ownership after 31 years as a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Ropes & Gray team was led by finance partners Michael Kazakevich and Carol Van der Vorst, derivatives & commodities partner Anna Lawry and finance counsel Alexandru Mocanu, all based in London, and securities and public companies partner Craig Marcus, based in Boston. They were assisted by associates Sean Darling, Shabdita Gupta, Enia Gyan, Adjoa Kwarteng, Clara Melly, Luwam Mezue, Oriyan Prizant, David Early, Mohammed Al Rasheed, trainee solicitor Maddie Cubbon, all based in London, and associates David Cohenand Eric Weberman, based in Boston.  The securitisation aspects of the transaction were led by partner Patricia Lynch, counsel Milap Patel and associate Douglas Hollins, all based in Boston.  The real estate aspects of the transaction were led by partner Daniel Stanco and associates Thomas Wechsler and Matthew Shore, based in New York, and partners David Seymour and Andrew Howard, based in London.

The Mayer Brown team included Tax Transactions & Consulting partners Jason Bazar (New York), Laurent Borey (Paris) and James Hill (London), and associates Lucas Giardelli, David Goett (both New York), Nicolas Danan, Louis Nayberg (both Paris) and Kitty Swanson (London); and Corporate & Securities – partners Perry Yam and James West.

S&C team advising Sotheby’s on the deal included corporate partners John Mead and Melissa Sawyer, Julia Kim and Ashlyann Harrison.

Fried Frank acted as counsel to LionTree Advisors, financial advisor to Sotheby’s with a team including Warren S. de Wied.

Herbert Smith Freehills has advised BidFair USA regarding the merger control aspects, with a team consisted of partner Kyriakos Fountoukakos and senior associates Camille Puech-Baron and Dafni Katrana in Brussels, partner Mark Jephcott and senior associate Tom Kemp in London, and of counsel Evgeny Yuriev and trainee Maria Akaemova in Moscow.

Involved fees earner: Warren de Wied – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Kyriakos Fountoukakos – Herbert Smith Freehills; Mark Jephcott – Herbert Smith Freehills; Dafni Katrana – Herbert Smith Freehills; Thomas Kemp – Herbert Smith Freehills; Camille Puech – Herbert Smith Freehills; Evgeny Yuriev – Herbert Smith Freehills; Jason Bazar – Mayer Brown; Laurent Borey – Mayer Brown; Nicolas Danan – Mayer Brown; Lucas Giardelli – Mayer Brown; David Goett – Mayer Brown; James Hill – Mayer Brown; Louis Nayberg – Mayer Brown; Kitty Swanson – Mayer Brown; Perry Yam – Mayer Brown; James West – Reed Smith; Michael Kazakevich – Ropes & Gray; Mohammed Al Rasheed – Ropes & Gray; David Cohen – Ropes & Gray; Sean Darling – Ropes & Gray; David Early – Ropes & Gray; Shabdita Gupta – Ropes & Gray; Enia Gyan – Ropes & Gray; Douglas Hollins – Ropes & Gray; Andrew Howard – Ropes & Gray; Adjoa Kwarteng – Ropes & Gray; Anna Lawry – Ropes & Gray; Patricia Lynch – Ropes & Gray; Craig Marcus – Ropes & Gray; Clara Melly – Ropes & Gray; Luwam Berhane Mezue – Ropes & Gray; Alexandru Mocanu – Ropes & Gray; Milap Patel – Ropes & Gray; Oriyan Prizant – Ropes & Gray; David Seymour – Ropes & Gray; Matthew Shore – Ropes & Gray; Daniel Stanco – Ropes & Gray; Carol Van der Vorst – Ropes & Gray; Eric Weberman – Ropes & Gray; Thomas Wechsler – Ropes & Gray; Ashlyann Harrison – Sullivan & Cromwell; Julia Kim – Sullivan & Cromwell; John Mead – Sullivan & Cromwell; Melissa Sawyer – Sullivan & Cromwell;

Law Firms: Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Herbert Smith Freehills; Mayer Brown; Reed Smith; Ropes & Gray; Sullivan & Cromwell;

Clients: BidFair USA; LionTree Advisors LLC; Sotheby’s;