Artnet Faces Hostile Takeover Attempt
Yesterday brought two major changes to Artnet.com, the business that maintains a widely used art market database: founding CEO Hans Neuendorf resigned his post, handing the reins over to his son, Jacob Pabst; and the company announced the shuttering of its popular online magazine.
Now Redline Capital Management, Luxembourg-based holder of 9.07 percent of Artnet's shares, is eyeing the 20-year-old firm for a takeover, as reported this morning by Bloomberg.
Neuendorf, who will stay on as a consultant, is quoted as saying, "I am against this because we don't know what they plan for the company. They don't know art, they know money. Artnet likes to focus on art and artists. We are not focused on money alone and we don't find this sympathetic."
In league with Redline is German firm Weng Fine Art, which owns 4.03 percent of Artnet's shares. "Artnet has a good product," CEO Ruediger K. Weng told Bloomberg, but is "just a poorly managed company."
Other shareholders are said to be uninterested in selling.
Artnet's next board meeting is July 11.
PHOTO: Hans Neuendorf. Image via artmarketblog.