Private-equity firm Epiris has acquired Bonhams for an undisclosed amount, the companies said.
The auction house was founded in 1793 and today competes with the larger auctioneers Christie’s and Sotheby’s, selling fine art, antiques, cars and jewelry.
“Bonhams is a global business operating in a market with long-term structural growth and high barriers to entry,” said Owen Wilson, partner at UK-based Epiris. “It is a platform with extensive scope for transformation through investment.”
Following the buyout, Bruno Vinciguerra, a former chief operating officer at Sotheby’s, will join Bonhams as executive chairman. Matthew Girling will remain CEO of the 225-year-old auction house, while Jonathan Fairhurst will continue as chief financial officer.
“Epiris has a demonstrable and successful track record in investment in growing brands, and we believe that together we can continue to expand the business whilst still offering the highest possible level of service wherever we operate,” said Girling.
Bonhams has seven sales rooms around the world, including London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Epiris, which bought the auctioneer through its Eperis Fund II, did not disclose the financial terms of the sale.