Artcurial expands into Switzerland with a stake in auction house Buerret Bailly Widmer


Artcurial has acquired an undisclosed stake in the Swiss auction house Beurret Bailly Widmer.

The major French auction firm, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, already has sale locations in Paris, Monaco and Marrakech and also owns John Taylor, which specialises in luxury real estate, and Arqana, focused on the sales of horses.

Beurret Bailly Widmer was founded in 2011 by Nicolas Beurret and Emmanuel Bailley, with Markus Schöb, of Galerie Widmer, later joining the firm in 2018. Specialising in modern and contemporary art, it has locations in Basel, Zurich and St Gallen.

“The acquisition of Beurret Bailly Widmer is primarily the result of a rapprochement between art market players who share an identical vision of the profession, i.e. one that focuses on human support and proximity to its clients,” says Nicolas Orlowski, CEO of Artcurial, which enjoyed record sales of €216.5m last year and continued to attract headlines this February for its record-breaking £1.9m sale of an original TinTin in America drawing by Hergé.

He adds that the Swiss auction business is “a discreet and serious firm that has become one of the major players in the Swiss art market.”

The Swiss company will now trade as Artcurial Beurret Bailly Widmer, with the three Swiss founders remaining as partners. A joint press release confirmed that the Swiss firm’s current structure and operations would not be impacted and that the business’s three annual sales would continue as per previous years, including its Fine Art sale on 21 June, during Art Basel.

‘Several development projects’ are said to be planned for the next two years, but no further details have yet been released.

“By joining forces with the leading French auction house, we will be able to offer our clients an even more comprehensive service and benefit from Artcurial’s network while maintaining our national roots,” says Emmanuel Bailly, CEO of Beurret Bailly Widmer in a press release. A statement on the company’s website also highlighted the opportunity the acquisition offers any of its customers wishing to branch out into new areas of collecting such as jewellery, automobiles and design.

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