Auctions

Bonhams Expands Again with Purchase of Paris Auction House

AuctionsJun 29, 2022

Bonhams Expands Again with Purchase of Paris Auction House

It is the fifth acquisition under the ownership of private equity firm Epiris, which bought Bonhams in 2018.

The inside of Cornette de Saint Cyr auction house in Paris. Bonhams just bought the company, marking its fourth acquisition of 2022 and its fifth since being purchased by a private equity firm in 2018. (© Fatima Jellaoui)
London—Bonhams has acquired another auction house, this time picking up Paris-based Cornette de Saint Cyr.
 
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 
 
Pierre Cornette de Saint Cyr established the auction house that bears his name in 1973.
 
Today, his sons Arnaud Cornette de Saint Cyr and Bertrand Cornette de Saint Cyr run the business as CEO and head of valuations and collections, respectively. 
 
Bonhams said Arnaud and Bertrand will remain with the company after the acquisition, and the auction house will operate as Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr.
 
The acquisition of Cornette de Saint Cyr gives Bonhams a second location in Paris in addition to the salesroom it opened in September 2021, and more of a foothold in Europe. In addition to its flagship on Avenue Hoche in Paris, Cornette de Saint Cyr has a saleroom in Brussels, Belgium. 
 
Bonhams CEO Bruno Vinciguerra said the acquisition is part of the company’s strategy to develop into a global player with a balanced presence across the United States, Europe, and Asia.
 
Arnaud remarked on the “wonderful synergy” between Bonhams and his family’s business.
 
“This new adventure will help the auction house my father founded go from strength to strength,” he said. 
 
“We are very proud of what we have achieved and much look forward to working with Bonhams to further our goals and our international reach.”
 
 Related stories will be right here … 
 
Cornette de Saint Cyr has 16 departments including Jewelry and Collection Clocks, Haute-Couture, Comics & Illustrations, Books & Manuscripts, and Natural History. 

It is known for its high-profile single-owner sales, including Alain Delon’s abstract art (2007); the estate of the Franco-Japanese painter Foujita (2011); furniture and fittings from the Hotel Royal Monceau (2008); and the couture collection belonging to Hélène Rochas, the former CEO of French fashion house Rochas. (2016).
 
In October, the auction house is slated to sell Asian art from the personal collections of members of the Rousset family. 
 
The purchase of Cornette de Saint Cyr marks Bonhams fourth acquisition this year and fifth since U.K. private equity firm Epiris bought it in 2018. 

Bonhams bought Stockholm-based Bukowskis, an auction house that dates to 1870, in January, as well as Boston-based Skinner, and Bruun Rasmussen in Denmark in the same week in March.
 
Prior to that, Bonhams picked up The Market, an online platform for classic cars and motorcycles, in April 2021. 
 
“This acquisition represents a huge step forward for our ambitions in an important market and cements Bonhams’ position as the world’s leading core-market auction house,” Epiris partner Alex Fortescue said of the purchase of Cornette de Saint Cyr. 
 
“Well-planned and well-executed mergers and acquisitions are a key part of our strategy to add scale, strategic position, and growth to the companies that Epiris invests in. Bonhams really embodies this.”
 
 
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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