Art Basel parent company acquires 67.5% stake in London’s Masterpiece fair
After having acquired a holding of 25% in art.fair International GmbH, MCH group — the company responsible for organizing Art Düsseldorf earlier this year, and the parent company of Art Basel, as well as Art India — has announced that it has acquired a majority stake (67.5%) in the London-based art fair, Masterpiece.
The art, antiques, design and jewellery fair will be the first of its kind to be acquired by MCH, which has until now focused exclusively on contemporary art. The acquisition is part of the group’s "Global Collector Events Strategy", which aims to unite collectors from different sectors. According to MCH, Masterpiece could expand to the U.S., Asia and the Middle East.
The London iteration of the fair will not change its format, and will continue to run at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Its next edition is slated to take place between June 28 and July 4, 2018. The fair’s founders, Harry Apter, Simon Phillips and Harry Van der Hoorn, will retain the same shares in the company and they remain on its board of directors.
Lucie Kitchener, who joined the fair in early 2017, will now lead the new business unit together with MCH, alongside its chief executive René Kamm. Philip Hewat-Jaboor, who will stay on as chairman of Masterpiece, has said that the new association with Art Basel might boost the number of modern and contemporary art galleries showing at the fair. As for the overseas expansion, Hewat-Jaboor has stated that the fair’s new iterations will translate Masterpiece’s DNA abroad, adjusting to regional dealers and collectors.