Arts

Might Rupert Murdoch be Art Basel’s next big investor?

Rupert Murdoch reportedly is in negotiations with MCH Group © David Shankbone

The media and television mogul Rupert Murdoch is reportedly in negotiations to become a major investor in MCH Group, the embattled parent company of Art Basel.

MCH, whose recent financial woes have been well documented, has been trying to raise capital by attracting another investor. On Friday, the Swiss business newspaper Finanz Und Wirtschaft reported that the events company is in advanced negotiations with Murdoch via his son James Rupert Murdoch, according to two un-named sources. Murdoch is reportedly discussing taking a share of up to 30%, at a cost of aroundCHF100m ($105m)—Finanz Und Wirtschaft says estimates are circulating that the Art Basel fairs alone are worth CHF500m, while the MCHs market value is just CHF100m.

On 26 June, the newspaper also reported that the Swiss investor Annette Schömmel was putting together a consortium to buy a 70% stake in MCH Group for CHF350m (around £300m), apparently with plans to expand Art Basel though no exact details were given.

But an MCH spokesman declines to comment on the reports about Murdoch and Schömmel, saying: “MCH Group will provide further information on this at the appropriate time. We do not comment on speculations.” Murdochs company News Corp did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On 24 June, MCH announced on its own website that the canton of Basel-Stadt (MCHs majority shareholder with 33.3% of the business) has approved the plans for a capital increase, waived its share subscription rights and approved a conversion of a loan of CHF30m into share capital to strengthen MCHs balance sheet. The announcement says the cantons waiver of its subscription right and the conversion of its loan “constitute key cornerstones of MCH GroRead More – Source

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