Ex-chairman to fund most of Sotheby's settlement

Monday, September 25th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK – Moving quickly to settle civil claims that it had cheated auction buyers and sellers, the board of Sotheby's on Sunday night approved payment of its half of a $512 million settlement, the auction house said.

The bulk of Sotheby's payment will come from its majority shareholder and ex-chairman, A. Alfred Taubman.

Mr. Taubman agreed to pay $156 million of the auction house's $256 million portion during an emergency telephone meeting of Sotheby's directors from around the world late Sunday. In exchange, the company settled all potential claims against him.

"I endorse and am contributing to these settlements to facilitate the resolution of all matters and to minimize the impact on Sotheby's, a company I care about deeply," Mr. Taubman said.

In a separate settlement reached unexpectedly Sunday, the company said it agreed to pay $30 million to resolve a lawsuit by shareholders who claimed that the company's dealings with Christie's depressed Sotheby's stock.

– New York Times News Service