A Murdoch comes to the rescue of Art Basel’s parent company with an $80M infusion
By Andres Viglucci
A media scion with a familiar last name has come to the rescue of Art Basel’s struggling parent company.
James Murdoch, who last week pointedly resigned from the media company founded by his father, Rupert Murdoch, this week became
the new “anchor shareholder” of MCH Group. The Swiss company owns and operates Art Basel Miami Beach and sister fairs in Basel
and Hong Kong.
The younger Murdoch’s investment firm, Lupa Systems, will inject about $80 million into MCH under a broad restructuring approved by
company shareholders on Aug. 3.
The agreement is designed to stabilize the company’s wobbling finances, already stressed before COVID-19 made matters worse
because of problems at its other live-events divisions. Then MCH canceled the Hong Kong and Basel, Switzerland, art fairs. The company
has said it expects its overall sales to drop by half this year because of the pandemic, with annual losses mounting into the tens of
The Miami Beach show remains a go for now, MCH has said, though officials acknowledge that could change amid continuing
uncertainty over the pandemic’s course.
But Murdoch’s investment, which will make him MCH’s controlling shareholder, is “a very positive development” for the company and the
division that runs the three art fairs, said Marc Spiegler, global director for Art Basel.
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