US billionaire Black buys Phaidon

US billionaire Black buys Phaidon

Art publisher Phaidon has been acquired from Richard Schlagman by the family of private equity billionaire Leon D Black for an undisclosed sum.

Black is chief executive of Apollo Global Management with a net worth of $3.5bn, according to Forbes.

A well-known art collector, he spent $120m buying Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' at auction in May. He also made a $48m donation to his alma mater Dartmouth College in New Hampshire for the Black Family Visual Arts Center, which opened last month.

Schlagman, who acquired Phaidon in 1990, said it had been "an enormous privilege" to own the publishing house for the past 22 years. "The decision for me to part with Phaidon was not an easy one," he said. "Once taken, however, the profile of the ideal buyer in my mind was exceeded in reality by Leon Black and his family. Self-evidently possessed of immense business acumen, Leon Black is also a man with a longstanding and deep appreciation for, and affinity with, art and culture. From my vantage point, this is the perfect combination to guarantee a great future for Phaidon."

Black said he and his family "have greatly admired Phaidon and the important contribution the Company has made to art and culture" and "look forward to supporting the future growth of the Company, including through the ongoing development of its publishing program, further geographic expansion, and the launch of digital products".

Phaidon c.e.o. David Davies said: "We are delighted to work with the Black family to take the business into its next phase of development and growth."

Greenhill & Co served as financial advisor to Phaidon on the sale of the company.

According to BookScan TCM data, Phaidon's printed book sales fell 28% over the five-year period from 2006 to 2011, to £2.9m, but sales are up marginally (by 1.5%) year on year in 2012.




Photo credit: Forbes