Phillips Touts Deal with New China Partner Amidst Buyout Rumours

Source Credit:  Content and images from Ocula Magazine.  Read the original article - https://ocula.com/magazine/art-news/phillips-touts-relationship-with-yongle/

The auction house, which is owned by Russia’s Mercury Group, is working with Yongle on their upcoming Hong Kong sales.

Phillips Touts Deal with New China Partner Amidst Buyout Rumours

Zao Wou-Ki, Untitled (2007). Oil on canvas, 73 x 92 cm. Estimate: HK $4,000,000–6,000,000 (US $510,000–764,000). Courtesy Phillips.

Phillips will team up with Chinese auction house Yongle on auctions in Hong Kong and Beijing this year.

Yongle has the opportunity to contribute consignments to Phillips’ 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day and Evening Sales in Hong Kong from 30 November to 1 December.

Featured works include Gerhard Richter‘s Abstraktes Bild (774-1) (1992), Zao Wou-Ki‘s 14.10.69 (1969) and Untitled (2007), and Ewa Juszkiewicz‘s Untitled (2017).

In return, Phillips may contribute consignments to Yongle’s Global Vision – Modern & Contemporary Art Evening Sale in Beijing in early December.

Both auction houses will promote all three auctions.

Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (774-1) (1992). Oil on canvas, 200 x 180.3 cm. Estimate: HK $80–120 million (US $10.3–15.4 million).

Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (774-1) (1992). Oil on canvas, 200 x 180.3 cm. Estimate: HK $80–120 million (US $10.3–15.4 million).

Yongle Auction began as Forever International Auction Company, which worked with Christie’s on their inaugural sale of modern and contemporary Chinese paintings in 2005. In the past three years, Yongle has recorded sales of US $354 million.

The partnership between Yongle and Phillips comes as something of a surprise given Phillips’ success working with Poly Auction Hong Kong in recent years.

‘Collaborations open up mutual opportunities for growth and we would like to continue to explore possibilities of working with organisations that have different strengths,’ Jonathan Crockett, Phillips’ Asia Chairman, told Ocula Magazine.

‘It is in our DNA to experiment and innovate and we will continue to do so through strategic partnerships to ensure our continued growth in the region,’ he said.

Ewa Juszkiewicz, Untitled (2017). Oil on canvas, 80.9 x 74.6 cm. Estimate: HK $3–4 million (US $385,000–513,000).

Ewa Juszkiewicz, Untitled (2017). Oil on canvas, 80.9 x 74.6 cm. Estimate: HK $3–4 million (US $385,000–513,000). Courtesy Phillips.

Alongside Phillips’ shifting allegiances with Chinese auction houses, rumours have been building that the auction house may soon be acquired by new owners.

In their art market newsletter, The Canvas speculated that Moscow-based Mercury Group has been looking to divest themselves of Phillips since last spring following economic sanctions imposed on Russian elites in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

They quote a ‘highly reliable source’ that believes a deal worth US $500 million is now on the table.

Asked if ownership changes were in development, Crockett just clarified Phillips’ existing ownership structure.

‘Phillips is a series of UK, US, and Hong Kong companies, owned by Mercury Group. The ownership structure of Phillips remains the same,’ he said. —[O]

Source Credit:  Content and images from Ocula Magazine.  Read the original article - https://ocula.com/magazine/art-news/phillips-touts-relationship-with-yongle/