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The World’s First Art IPO: Ready to Own a Share of a Masterpiece?

Quartz | Samanth Subramanian | Jun 23, 2023

Wikipedia Francis Bacon Three Studies for George Dyer - The World's First Art IPO:  Ready to Own a Share of a Masterpiece?

Artex's groundbreaking IPO lets you buy shares in a Francis Bacon painting, revolutionizing art ownership and bringing masterpieces from private walls to public halls

  • World's 1st Painting IPO:
    • A painting by Francis Bacon titled "Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer" will become the world’s first painting to go public through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the second half of July. This is being done by a company named Artex, which will list the painting on an art exchange based in Liechtenstein. The painting is valued at around $55 million.
    • Investors will be able to purchase shares in the painting. Artex is offering 385,000 shares in the painting at $100 each through brokers and banks, which makes up 70% of all class B shares in the painting. The share prices will fluctuate based on supply and demand.

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  • Public Display:
    • After the IPO, the painting will be displayed in a museum that is yet to be determined. This allows the public to admire the painting, which has previously been in private collections.
    • This innovative approach not only allows individuals to own a share in a masterpiece but also increases the accessibility of fine art to the general public by ensuring they are displayed in museums rather than kept in private collections.
  • Future valuation:
    • Unlike stocks in companies whose values are influenced by the company’s performance, the value of the painting is expected to generally appreciate over time as long as it remains undamaged. However, the share prices could change significantly if a private collector wishes to buy out all the shares at a premium or if the authenticity of the painting comes into question.
  • Private Art Collection Demand:
    • A large portion of fine art is in private collections, often hidden in freeports which are untaxed havens. Artex could potentially persuade collectors to sell to them at a lower fee (i.e 3% of IPO proceeds) than traditional auction houses (i.e. 20%), leading to more artworks being accessible to the public in museums.

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