Art Basel Organizer’s Board Warns Holders to Accept Murdoch Deal

The board of Art Basel organizer MCH Group AG warned investors to accept a rescue package that includes an injection of capital from the younger son of billionaire Rupert Murdoch, or risk running out of time.

“If this overall package were to fail, extremely little time would be left for developing and implementing alternative restructuring solutions before it was too late,” according to a statement from the board of directors on the company’s website yesterday.

MCH Group has been battered by the coronavirus outbreak, which led to some of its biggest events being called off. The Art Basel show, slated for September, was canceled, and big-name brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe deserted its watch exhibition, Baselworld, leading to the scrapping of the show. Sales will slump by as much as 170 million francs ($181 million) this year.

James Murdoch plans to invest in MCH Group via his investment company, Lupa Systems, which will acquire a stake of 30%-44%, Basel-based MCH Group said in a statement on July 10. The company also plans to add Murdoch to the board of directors.

MCH Group will propose a 104.5 million-franc capital increase and a restructuring of its debt capital at an extraordinary general meeting on Aug. 3, which is when shareholders will vote on Lupa Systems’ entry as a new shareholder with a lock-up period of five years.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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