Buyout of Bonhams the auction house

LÉONARD TSUGUHARU FOUJITA (1886-1968) La fête d'anniversaire, a picture being auctioned by Bonhams n

LÉONARD TSUGUHARU FOUJITA (1886-1968) La fête d'anniversaire, a picture being auctioned by Bonhams next month. Picture: Bonhams - Credit: Archant

Bonhams, the auction house established in 1793, is to be acquired by private equity firm Epiris.

Bonhams is one of the world’s largest and most renowned auctioneers of fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery.

The business holds more than 250 sales a year at its salerooms.

In 2017, Bonhams sold more than 50,000 lots, generating in excess of £450m of hammer sales.

The auction house has offices in Bury Saint Edmunds in Suffolk and Reepham in Norfolk, and a spokesperson confirmed that it would continue to be “business as usual” for staff at both offices.

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The company is led by chief executive 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.

The deal represents the fourth investment from Epiris Fund II, which is advised by Epiris.

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“We are delighted to have found a buyer that recognises the potential offered by this business and its employees,” said Mr Girling.

“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.”

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