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BRIEFLY / AUCTION HOUSES

Sotheby's Has Wider Loss, Expects to Restructure

November 16, 2000|Reuters

Sotheby's Holdings Inc., which pleaded guilty last month to taking part in a price-fixing scheme with rival auction house Christie's International, reported a wider third-quarter loss and said it expects to restructure its auction segment. Sotheby's also said it expects fourth-quarter and full-year 2000 earnings to be down significantly and sees a material restructuring charge in the fourth quarter. The company said it expects to make unspecified staff reductions as part of a restructuring, although a "significant" percentage of those cuts could result from unfilled vacancies, early retirements and consolidation of roles. The auction house reported a third-quarter loss of 45 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of 41 cents, as revenue fell 6% to $42.6 million. The latest results exclude a $2.68-charge related to court settlements. The third-quarter charge of $184.8 million primarily consists of a settlement in a civil antitrust action, a shareholder class-action lawsuit and a plea agreement with the Justice Department, the company said.

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