The boardroom battle between Sotheby’s and hedge fund manager Dan Loeb of Third Point continues to thicken.
The auction house fired its latest shot at the activist investor, sending a letter to shareholders saying, “We believe Third Point has presented misleading information that distorts the reality at Sotheby’s,” and urging shareholders to vote for all 12 of Sotheby’s director nominees.
Loeb responded in kind, firing off a fresh letter on Monday making his case for board representation. "We are convinced that having an owner's perspective in the boardroom yields better results, that this board is in dire need of fresh insights, and that our candidates are more qualified than the company's emissaries we are seeking to replace," Loeb wrote.
Shares of Sotheby’s are down more than 20 percent so far this year. So, who is right? And is it worth your bid?
Andrew Burkly, head of institutional portfolio strategy at Oppenheimer, sees both sides of the argument, but warns investors to steer clear of Sotheby’s. “Our opinion is this is not a good long-term investment at this point,” Burkly cautioned.
And he says the auction house has three characteristics that spell trouble, “It’s a classic early cycle play, it’s a high beta name and it trades at a premium to the overall S&P.”
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Richard Ross of Auerbach Grayson on the other hand, sees the recent selloff as a buying opportunity. “I think you could get a commensurate snapback rally. I would be a buyer here. This is a nice set up from a trading perspective.”
So, who will win the boardroom battle? And who will win the battle between technicals and fundamentals? Check out the video for more.