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Major Auction House Acquired

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It holds more than 250 sales a year.

Bonhams, an international auctioneer of jewelery, antiques, fine arts and automobiles, is being acquired.

Epiris announced that Epiris Fund II will buy the auction house from private shareholders for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 1793, Bonhams holds more than 250 sales a year at its flagship salerooms in cities including London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. In 2017, Bonhams sold more than 50,000 lots, generating over $523 million of hammer sales.

Bonhams is led by CEO Matthew Girling and Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Fairhurst, who will be joined by Bruno Vinciguerra as executive chairman. Vinciguerra served for eight years as chief operating officer at Sotheby’s and before that held senior roles at Bain, Dell and Disney.

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Girling said: “We are delighted to have found a buyer that recognises the potential offered by this business and its employees. Bonhams is one of the world’s oldest auctioneers – and one of the most ambitious. During the past 20 years we have pursued a growth strategy that has turned the company into a truly global organisation. The value of Bonhams rests with its people, their skills, their extraordinary expertise and their strong networks across the world. Epiris has a demonstrable and successful track record in investment in growing brands and we believe that together we can continue to expand the business whilst still offering the highest possible level of service wherever we operate.”

Owen Wilson, partner at Epiris, said: “Bonhams is a global business operating in a market with long-term structural growth and high barriers to entry. It is a platform with extensive scope for transformation through investment. We are delighted to be working with Bruno, Matthew and the rest of the team to implement our shared vision.”

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