MOMART, the fine art transport, storage and logistics company, have been sold for just over £10m. New owners Falkland Islands Holdings PLC are expected to bring fresh investment to develop the company under existing management and staff, and will focus particularly on the overseas market.
The deal opens a new chapter for the firm, founded in 1971, after the catastrophic fire which spread to their premises from a neighbouring warehouse in May 2004.
The fire led to the loss of millions of pounds of contemporary and modern art and a highly confidential out-of-court settlement with the owners of the art in 2006, in which MOMART admitted no liability.
The company, who number galleries, museums and major collections among their blue-chip clients, now occupy a hi-tech, purpose-built warehouse in East London.
Security, monitoring and training are heavily emphasised on their website, which also carries testimonials from the likes of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and AXA Art Insurance.
Managing director Eugene Boyle remains in place under the deal with FIH and told ATG that it meant they had also been able to reduce their level of debt.
“We did not want to be swallowed up into a large organisation – losing our identity and the value system appreciated by our people and clients alike was not an option,” he said.
As part of the reorganisation, Momart have taken a stake in FIH, who operate under a Royal Charter as the principal commercial investor in the Falkland Islands, where they have interests in oil and gas.
They also own the Portsmouth Harbour Ferry Company.