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Sotheby's Announces Review Of Capital Allocation And Financial Policies

NEW YORK, Sept. 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sotheby's (NYSE:BID) today announced that the Board of Directors is conducting a thorough review of its capital allocation and financial policies as part of the Company's ongoing commitment to deliver exceptional shareholder value. The results are expected to be presented to investors in early 2014.

During the past several years, Sotheby's prudent management and strong financial performance has generated meaningful capital, which the Company has used to invest in strategic initiatives, strengthen the balance sheet, and build adequate liquidity to pursue transaction opportunities such as lending and auction guarantees. This strong performance and stewardship has also driven a share price increase exceeding the Standard & Poor's Midcap index over the one, five and ten year periods.

A robust capital allocation review is the natural next step of the Company's ongoing efforts to optimize the balance sheet, improve the cost of capital and manage financial policies in a way that supports Sotheby's strategy and delivers outstanding value to shareholders.

Bill Ruprecht, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "As a practice, management and the Board have consistently focused on building long-lasting value for our shareholders and a platform to grow the business in a challenging and ever-evolving marketplace. As we have disclosed in the past, we continue to evaluate return of capital strategies, including potential share repurchases and/or an increase in dividends, while balancing the need to invest in the future of the Company and the Sotheby's brand to strengthen our competitive position and improve the unique services we provide to our clients.

"In that context, our assessment will take into account some key considerations including, but not limited to, the potential use of incremental debt to fund segments of our operations, the Company's credit rating, ongoing funding requirements for certain strategic initiatives both announced and contemplated, the value of our real estate properties and our unique premises requirements, and the potential tax implications of any of the actions we are considering," he added.

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