Hôtel Drouot

Hôtel Drouot in Paris. Image: ©Alain Potignon

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French investment firms Vesper Investissement and Chevrillon Group have bought the stake, allowing some existing shareholders to sell. This is the first time non-auctioneer shareholders have invested.

Drouot Group has 129 auctioneer shareholders. Two years ago, retired auctioneers and their heirs wished to find a solution to sell shares. This has been achieved by Vesper and Chevrillon's commitment. However they do not have an option to buy out other shares held by auctioneers so will remain minority shareholders.

The investment (the value of which has not been revealed) will also mean there are available funds to expand digitally.

Members of the consortium will join the group’s board of directors and will “contribute to the influence of the Hôtel Drouot, to continue the major development projects, in particular the intensification of its digital platform and the extension of its activities… storage, delivery, etc”.

Drouot Group is made up of several elements: Hôtel Drouot, founded in 1852, hosts 74 auction houses across 15 salerooms in Paris; Drouot.com online marketplace has 690 auction houses using its services offering more than 2.6m objects every year; and La Gazette Drouot, founded in 1891, provides weekly French auction news and updates.

In Drouot Group’s first half-year results for 2023 it said 3915 auctions were held, achieving sales of €338m (£332m), an increase of 14% compared with the same period of 2022.

For Hôtel Drouot there were 500 auctions in the period (live sales in the building) achieving €206.8m, an increase of 9% compared with the same period of 2022.