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They say that they will not negotiate any further offers and expect to develop the business themselves. The move was announced after the general assembly of Drouot auctioneers on June 13.

The main stumbling block in proceedings with the various offers is thought to have been the Drouot’s refusal to negotiate a separate deal for the profitable weekly publication, Gazette de l’Hôtel Drouot.

French entrepreneur Pierre Bergé was the first to withdraw, with insurance giants AXA and Barclays Private Equity following suit a month ago. That left only Dutch bank ABN AMRO in contention until last week.

The new board – or administrative council – of Drouot Holding includes Isabelle Bailly-Pommery, Alain Castor, Georges Delettrez, Joël-Marie Millon, Dominique Ribeyre, Pierre-Marie Rogeon and William Studer.