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Sotheby's Rejects Dan Loeb's Board Nominees

Mar 16, 2014
Jing Chen

Auction house Sotheby’s has rejected hedge fund manager Dan Loeb’s proposal to replace its board with new members.

The New York Times reported that Sotheby’s has instead selected two other board members, explaining to shareholders in a letter that Loeb’s nominees—which included Loeb himself—“add no relevant expertise not already represented on the board of directors.”  Sotheby’s nominees for two independent directors are senior adviser to Bridge Growth Partners Jessica Bibliowicz and senior Univision Communications executive Kevin Conroy.

According to an eVestment article from last month, Loeb’s New York-based Third Point, which owns a 9.53% stake in Sotheby’s, was slated to nominate three board members after the auction house’s promise to return $450 million to shareholders failed to appease activist investors.

Loeb also criticized Sotheby’s for failing to make significant changes to the company, especially its decision to put in a poison pill to itself from shareholders, comparing Sotheby's to "an old master painting in desperate need of restoration” last year.

Loeb is not a stranger to proxy battles, as he won a huge victory against Yahoo in 2012.

Third Point manages about $14 billion in assets.

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