Bonhams Announces Acquisition of Paris Auction House Cornette de Saint Cyr

London - Bonhams, the global auction house, has acquired Cornette de Saint Cyr, the French auction house. Financial terms are not being disclosed. Cornette de Saint Cyr will now be known as Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr.

Established in 1973, Cornette de Saint Cyr is a much-respected auction house founded by Pierre Cornette de Saint Cyr. Pierre's sons, Arnaud, the CEO, and Bertrand, Head of Valuations and Collections, continue the family tradition by remaining with Cornette.

Based in Avenue Hoche, Paris, with an impressive saleroom in Brussels, Cornette de Saint Cyr is famous throughout the auction world for its high-profile single-owner sales, such as Alain Delon's Collection of Abstract Art (2007); The Estate of the Franco-Japanese painter, Foujita (2011); the furniture and fittings from the Hotel Royal Monceau (2008); and the couture collection belonging to Hélène Rochas (2016). The Robert & Jean-Pierre Rousset Collection of Asian Art: A Century of Collecting sale will take place in October 2022 and is from the personal collection of the renowned Rousset family.

The acquisition will build on Bonhams' portfolio in France – the auction house expanded its French operations by opening a saleroom in Paris in Rue de la Paix in September 2021. It will also enhance Bonhams' European scale to support further growth across the company's network in Europe and internationally.

Bonhams was acquired by the UK-based private equity firm, Epiris, in September 2018. Since then, there has been substantial investment at Bonhams in the areas of digital, marketing, and recruitment.

Bruno Vinciguerra, CEO of Bonhams, said: "Cornette de Saint Cyr is one of the most-loved auction houses in France. As with Bonhams, it is rooted in a family tradition – and we are delighted that Arnaud Cornette de Saint Cyr will remain as CEO. Like his father before him, Arnaud has developed a company to which some of the most renowned names in France have entrusted their collections. Bonhams' acquisition of such a celebrated auction house is an important part of our strategy to further the development of Bonhams into a truly global player with a balanced presence across the US, Europe and Asia."

Arnaud Cornette de Saint Cyr, Chief Executive of Cornette de Saint Cyr, said: "There is a wonderful synergy between Bonhams and Cornette de Saint Cyr, particularly in the way in which both companies put the client at the centre of everything. This new adventure will help the auction house my father founded go from strength to strength. We are very proud of what we have achieved and much look forward to working with Bonhams to further our goals and our international reach."

Catherine Yaiche, Managing Director of Bonhams France, said: "We are delighted to welcome Arnaud and his brother Bertrand Cornette de Saint Cyr, together with their team to the Bonhams family. The company has two beautiful locations – on Avenue Hoche in Paris and Chaussée de Charleroi in Brussels, which are wonderful settings for sales. This is an important step in our vision for Bonhams to consolidate its position in France and Europe."

Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, Chairman of Bonhams, said: "Having already added three auction houses to the Bonhams' family since January, the acquisition of Cornette de Saint Cyr is a further important step in our vision for Bonhams to become the world's local auction house."

Alex Fortescue, Managing Partner at Epiris, said: "This acquisition represents a huge step forward for our ambitions in an important market and cements Bonhams' position as the world's leading core-market auction house. Well-planned and well-executed mergers and acquisitions are a key part of our strategy to add scale, strategic position, and growth to the companies that Epiris invests in. Bonhams really embodies this."

28 June 2022

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