Design art auction house Phillips de Pury hopes its takeover by Russian luxury retail group Mercury Group will enable it to shift its focus to emerging markets in the East, to secure future sales.
The deal, announced yesterday afternoon, will give Phillips de Pury access to ‘a significantly enhanced capital base and exciting growth prospects’ in Russia and ‘beyond’, according to a Phillips de Pury spokeswoman.
Phillips de Pury is expected to disclose details of further plans to capitalise on its relationship with Russia’s key retail player over the next month.
On the issue of financial security, the spokeswoman says, ‘We feel confident that design is still a collecting category that is sought after.’
Under the terms of the deal, Mercury Group and its chairman and president Leonid Friedland acquire control of Phillips de Pury, while Simon de Pury remains as chairman and a key shareholder.
The auction house’s partnerships, including its tie-up with the Saatchi Gallery, will remain intact, says the spokeswoman.
Phillips de Pury & Company last month reported 80 per cent growth from half year 2007/2008 sales volume in contemporary design, art and photography auctions.
Among the pieces from this year’s London Design Festival that are awaiting auction by Phillips de Pury next week are David Adjaye’s Sclera installation for Size & Matter.
Its predecessor – Urban Nebula by Zaha Hadid – last year sold in London for £311 200.