Loeb wins war with Sotheby’s to claim three seats on board

US activist investor Dan Loeb chalked up a stunning victory over auction house Sotheby’s yesterday after winning a seat for himself and two allies on the board.

Mr Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point, which has built a 9.6 per cent stake, has been agitating for change and claimed the 270-year old institution – founded in London but now headquartered in New York – was an “old master painting in need of restoration”.

After both sides fired off a series of claims against the other, Sotheby’s gave in to Mr Loeb’s demands ahead of its annual general meeting due for Tuesday. Sotheby’s has agreed to Mr Loeb, Olivier Reza and Harry Wilson joining the board of directors.

Sotheby’s previously gave in and offered Mr Loeb a seat on the board but he refused because he wanted his other nominees to also be accepted.

Under the deal, Sotheby’s will also terminate its shareholder rights plan, or “poison pill”, which prevents activist shareholders from owning 10 percent or more of the company. Third Point has withdrawn its legal challenge to the plan and can now raise its stake to up to 15 percent under the deal.

The trio will take their seats alongside two other directors, expanding the Sotheby’s board to 15. Sotheby’s chairman Bill Ruprecht said: “We will benefit from five fresh voices and viewpoints.” Mr Loeb said he would “work collaboratively with our fellow board members”.

Another activist target, poker and gaming site Bwin.party digital, hit back at the efforts of Jason Ader’s SpringOwl hedge fund to win four seats on the board yesterday. Mr Ader, who owns 5.2 per cent of the company, has attacked a history of “value destruction” since the £1.1bn merger of Bwin and Party Gaming in 2011.

A Bwin.party spokesman said: “We have reviewed the latest materials from SpringOwl and found once again that its comments are focused on selective points of history. SpringOwl has failed to offer any concrete proposals for creating long-term value for shareholders.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Financial Adviser

£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Guru Careers: Application Support Analyst / 1st Line Support

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer / Web Developer

£45K - £55K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a full stack .NET D...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence