Sotheby’s Acquires Ownership Interest In Luxury Car Seller RM Auctions

RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island Auction 14 March 2015 Lot 145 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pinin Farina Chassis no. 1945 SAEngine no. 1945 SA Est. $6/7 million

In a sign of the booming global market for luxury cars, Sotheby’s announced today that it has acquired a 25 percent ownership in Ontario-based car auctioneer RM Auctions that will yield “a new strategic partnership.” In a statement announcing the partnership, Sotheby’s said the market for the finest cars has topped $2 billion “presenting increasing opportunities for both companies.” (See Vintage Cars Overtake Art on Luxury Asset Racetrack.)

The two previously collaborated on sales in both the US and Europe including the November 2013 Art of the Automobile auction in New York that brought in nearly $63 million, and set a new auction record of $14.3 million for a Ferrari 250 LM. The announcement “grows these previous partnerships and unites the two businesses for the full calendar of future automobile auctions,” according to a statement.

The first RM Sotheby’s sale will take place in Amelia Island, Florida, on March 14, at which a 1960 Ferrari (pictured above) will be offered with an estimate of $6–7 million. Additional sales will be held in Fort Worth, Texas; Lake Como, Italy; Monterey, California; and London and New York.

Sotheby’s CEO William Ruprecht called RM Auctions “the clear leader in this field” and said the auction house is “thrilled to join” with them. RM Auctions chairman and founder Rob Myers said the partnership “is undoubtedly the most effective way for us to reach the ever-growing worldwide audience of collectors who take a keen interest in the collector car asset class.”

Over time, Sotheby’s will have opportunities to increase its ownership stake as the partnership evolves.

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