Report: Private Equity Firm Looking to Sell Bonhams

AuctionsFeb 10, 2023

Report: Private Equity Firm Looking to Sell Bonhams

Epiris reportedly is in the early stages of gauging market interest in the auction house, which it acquired in 2018.

The inside of Cornette de Saint Cyr auction house in Paris. Cornette de Saint Cyr was one of five acquisitions Bonhams made after private equity firm Epiris bought it in late 2018. Now, Epiris is reportedly exploring the idea of selling Bonhams in a $1 billion deal. (© Fatima Jellaoui)
New York—Private equity firm Epiris is reportedly looking to sell Bonhams after buying the 230-year-old auction house a little over four years ago and growing the business via a series of acquisitions.  
Citing confidential sources close to the matter, Bloomberg reported Monday that the London-based private equity firm is working with advisers at JPMorgan Chase & Co. as it debates the idea of putting the auction house up for sale. 
Epiris will value the auction house at $1 billion in any deal, according to Bloomberg. Talks reportedly are in the “early stages” and may not result in any transaction.  
Bonhams directed press inquiries about the potential sale to Epiris. Epiris declined to comment on the report.
Epiris bought Bonhams, which was founded in London in 1793, in 2018 for an undisclosed amount. 
Since its purchase by the private equity firm, Bonhams made five acquisitions worldwide over a 14-month period.
 Related stories will be right here … 
Its first acquisition took place in April 2021 when it bought The Market, an online marketplace for classic cars and collectible motorcycles. 
It bought Bukowskis, an auction house with its flagship showroom in Stockholm, Sweden, in January 2022.

Then, in the same week in March 2022, Bonhams announced it was acquiring both Boston-based Skinner and Bruun Rasmussen, which is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. 
Its fifth acquisition took place in June of that year, buying the Cornette de Saint Cyr auction house in Paris. 

The acquisition helped push Bonhams’ sales over the $1 billion mark for the first time in company history.

The company said its sales registration levels rose by 57 percent year-over-year in 2022—almost four times its pre-pandemic (and pre-acquisitions) levels—and more than half of those who bought something from Bonhams last year were first-time customers at the auction house. 
North America and Europe were Bonhams’ biggest markets, each accounting for about 33 percent of sales, followed by the U.K. at 19 percent and Asia-Pacific at 16 percent.  
The auction house held a number of notable single-owner sales last year, including the personal property of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Vegas mainstays Siegfried & Roy, and actor Sir Michael Caine. Caine’s possessions included a collection of watches that belonged to him and his wife, Lady Shakira Caine, as well as a number of pieces of jewelry she designed and wore. 
Among Bonhams’ top lots of the year was a rare emerald and diamond Cartier bracelet, which sold for $3.2 million.

The Latest

MajorsMar 29, 2023
Blue Nile to Close Fulfillment Center, Lay Off Workers

The retailer, recently acquired by Signet Jewelers, will lay off 119 employees in July.

WatchesMar 29, 2023
See All the New Patek Philippe Watches for 2023

The Swiss watchmaker introduced 17 new models at Watches & Wonders Geneva.

MajorsMar 29, 2023
Mark Henry Jewelry Offering Complimentary ‘Masterclass’ on Sales from Peter Smith

As part of the promotion, Smith will share his sales expertise during a 90-minute training session.

Brought to you by
Full Disclosure at Your Fingertips

Distinguishing natural diamonds from laboratory-grown stones – now more available than ever – has been difficult for jewelers. Until now.

EditorsMar 28, 2023
I’m Enchanted With Parmigiani Fleurier’s Perfect Travel Watch

At Watches & Wonders, the Swiss brand unveiled a follow-up to last year’s Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante.

Weekly QuizMar 23, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
CollectionsMar 28, 2023
Helzberg’s New Lab-Grown Diamond Collection Earns SCS Certification

The “rêve” collection’s engagement rings and wedding bands are geared toward “sustainability minded customers.”

EditorsMar 28, 2023
This New Rolex Day-Date Tells Time … and Affirmations

A new word appears on the dial each day of the week.

Brought to you by
Bringing Over 130 Years of Diamond Expertise to Modern Grading

De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.

IndependentsMar 28, 2023
D.C. Jeweler That Honored 50-Year-Old Gift Certificate Closes

Bensons Jewelers closed for good Feb. 24, impacted in part by the decline in foot traffic downtown since the onset of the pandemic.

MajorsMar 28, 2023
Swarovski Names New GM of North America

Kolja Kiofsky has been with the crystal and jewelry company since 2010.

MajorsMar 27, 2023
Pandora Promotes GM to Chief of Retail Operations

Massimo Basei is moving up, while Chief Commercial Officer Martino Pessina is stepping down.

Events & AwardsMar 27, 2023
Registration Is Open for the HardRock Summit

AGTA GemFair and the Denver Gem & Mineral Show also will have a presence on the show floor.

AuctionsMar 24, 2023
Piece of the Week: The $5.8M Patek Philippe ‘Sky Moon Tourbillon’

Sold by Christie’s Hong Kong, this masterwork of complications now holds the record for most expensive watch ever auctioned online.

FinancialsMar 24, 2023
Movado Predicts Declining Sales Amid ‘Volatile’ Retail Environment

The watch company expects first-quarter sales to fall as much as 15 percent due to inflation and tough comps.

Lab-GrownMar 24, 2023
Lightbox Promotes General Manager to COO

Adam O’Grady, general manager of the Lightbox Lab, has taken on the new role and will report directly to Lightbox CEO Antoine Borde.

WatchesMar 23, 2023
Which Brands Do Watch Enthusiasts Love Most? Chrono24 Takes a Look

The watch marketplace gathered data from 1.3 million collectors, highlighting the most popular timepieces and exploring value appreciation.

SourcingMar 23, 2023
Burgundy Diamond Backing Out of Ellendale Mine Deal

Burgundy has opted not to exercise its option to buy the mining claims Gibb River Diamonds currently owns.

GradingMar 23, 2023
GCAL Introduces 8X Cut Grade for Proprietary Cuts

Patented and specialty cuts now can receive an 8X Proprietary Certificate, which can be customized to include a company’s brand and logo.

Events & AwardsMar 23, 2023
Diamonds Do Good Names 2023 Award Recipients

The organization said it will recognize those who exemplify the idea that doing good is good business.

CollectionsMar 22, 2023
Messika’s 2023 Campaign Pairs New Jewelry With Vintage Cars

Kendall Jenner once again is fronting the French brand’s campaign, joined by model and dancer Alton Mason.

Events & AwardsMar 22, 2023
Hari Krishna Exports Hosts Gala Amid UN Water Conference

The CEOs of Signet, Helzberg, and GIA spoke on a water conservation panel, and had lakes named in their companies’ honor.

Policies & IssuesMar 22, 2023
See Kwiat’s Bracelet for World Water Day

Sales of the sleek sterling silver and diamond design will go to nonprofit organization charity: water.

AuctionsMar 21, 2023
Marlene Dietrich’s Van Cleef & Arpels Bracelet Going Up for Auction

Expected to earn up to $4.5 million, the “Jarretière” bracelet is the star of Christie’s “The Magnificent Jewels of Anne Eisenhower” sale.

ColumnistsMar 21, 2023
Squirrel Spotting: Customer Retention Mindset—The New CRM

With jewelry sales coming down from their pandemic highs, retailers need to do all they can to retain existing customers, Peter Smith says.

Events & AwardsMar 21, 2023
ASJRA’s May Conference Examines ‘Iconic’ Jewelry Companies

Jewelry historians, authors, and experts will explore the works of Tiffany & Co., Oscar Heyman, Verdura, and more.

IndependentsMar 21, 2023
Borsheims Executive Jennifer Johnson Retires

Johnson joined the retailer in 1987, establishing its first human resources department.

Recorded WebinarsMar 20, 2023
Watch: Lab Grown Diamonds: What's Now? What's New? What's Next?

Supplier Spotlight Presented by IGI


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy