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Artprice lance le wiki collaboratif le plus exhaustif sur le monde de l’art et des artistes.

Artprice lance le wiki collaboratif le plus exhaustif sur le monde de l’art et des artistes.

Artprice est le leader mondial des banques de données sur la cotation et les indices de l’Art avec plus de 30 millions d’indices et de résultats de ventes couvrant plus de 586 000 Artistes. Artprice Images(R) permet un accès illimité au plus grand fonds du Marché de l’Art au monde, bibliothèque constituée de 108 millions d’images ou gravures d’oeuvres d’Art de 1700 à nos jours commentées par ses historiens.

A de multiples reprises, depuis plusieurs années, de très nombreux Artistes, Ayants droits, Sociétés de Droit d’Auteurs, Professionnels de l’Art, Experts, Institutionnels, Historiens, Sociologues, Collectionneurs et Amateurs d’Art ont manifesté à Artprice, de manière quotidienne, leur désir de partager leurs connaissances et leurs documentations privées.

Un noyau dur de 12 millions de contributeurs réguliers selon thierry Ehrmann, fondateur and PDG d’ Artprice.com.

Cette communauté représente un noyau dur de 12 millions de contributeurs réguliers qui devront être enregistrés chez Artprice pour suivre l’évolution de leurs pages afin de pouvoir vérifier et si besoin corriger ou compléter l’information disponible.

Les Historiens et Rédacteurs d’Artprice auront bien évidemment le contrôle de l’information finale et seront les seuls habilités à ouvrir les comptes de contributeurs réguliers.

De plus, ils pourront immédiatement valider la qualité de l’information et par-là même certifier l’agrément du contributeur, grâce notamment aux 81 banques de données Artprice (biographies, résultats d’adjudications, cotes et indices, signatures et monogrammes, catalogues raisonnés, Maisons de Ventes, galeries et marchands d’art, archives, etc …).

Après une étude exhaustive, pour des raisons de moyens, il s’avère sans contestation possible qu’aucun « wiki » d’une telle ampleur n’existait sur ce sujet.

Artprice ouvre son wiki multilingue avec plus d’un million d’artistes, dont 586 000 artistes cotés sur Artprice.com et reliés à des dizaines de millions d’œuvres d’art, en anglais, français, allemand, espagnol, italien et chinois. Ce wiki sera accessible sur : wiki.artprice.com

Concernant le wiki Artprice des artistes chinois, Artprice s’appuiera principalement sur son fidèle partenaire étatique le groupe Artron, à travers Art Market Monitor of Artron (AMMA).

Cette opération préparée depuis près d’un an est une contribution majeure et gratuite dans l’histoire du Marché de l’Art.

Elle sera, par ailleurs pour Artprice, l’opportunité d’étendre de manière spectaculaire sa clientèle abonnée à un cercle de 12 millions de contributeurs agréés.

A propos d’Artprice :

Artprice est cotée sur Eurolist by Euronext Paris, SRD long only et Euroclear : 7478 – Bloomberg : PRC – Reuters : ARTF. Depuis mars 2014, Artprice fait partie du nouvel indice CAC® PME d’Euronext ainsi que de l’EnterNext® PEA-PME 150 en novembre 2014.

Artprice, avec plus de 14 ans de communication réglementée sur l’Eurolist, se fait un point d’honneur de produire toute l’information nécessaire aux professionnels des marchés financiers mais aussi aux néophytes du Marché de l’Art. Toutes les questions des 18 000 actionnaires d’Artprice trouvent systématiquement leurs réponses dans l’information réglementée d’Artprice qu’elle diffuse en ligne par son diffuseur homologué par l’AMF

http://www.actusnews.com

Artprice est le leader mondial des banques de données sur la cotation et les indices de l’Art avec plus de 30 millions d’indices et résultats de ventes couvrant plus de 570 000 Artistes. Artprice Images(R) permet un accès illimité au plus grand fonds du Marché de l’Art au monde, bibliothèque constituée de 108 millions d’images ou gravures d’oeuvres d’Art de 1700 à nos jours commentées par ses historiens.

Artprice enrichit en permanence ses banques de données en provenance de 4 500 Maisons de ventes et publie en continu les tendances du Marché de l’Art pour les principales agences et 7200 titres de presse dans le monde. Artprice met à la disposition de ses 3,6 millions de membres (members log in), les annonces déposées par ses Membres, qui constituent désormais la première Place de Marché Normalisée® mondiale pour acheter et vendre des œuvres d’Art à prix fixe ou aux enchères (enchères réglementées par les alinéas 2 et 3 de l’article L 321.3 du code du commerce).

Sommaire des communiqués d’Artprice : http://serveur.serveur.com/press_release/pressreleasefr.htm

La version PDF du rapport annuel Artprice sur le Marché de l’Art mondial est téléchargeable sur Artprice : http://imgpublic.artprice.com/pdf/rama2014_fr.pdf

Découvrir l’alchimie et l’univers d’Artprice http://web.artprice.com/video dont le siège social est le célèbre Musée d’art contemporain Abode of Chaos / Demeure du Chaos. http://goo.gl/zJssd https://vimeo.com/87859684

Suivre en temps réel toute l’actualité du Marché de l’Art avec Artprice sur Twitter, Facebook et Google+ :

https://plus.google.com/+Artpricedotcom/posts

http://twitter.com/artpricedotcom & http://twitter/artmarketdotcom http://artmarketinsight.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/artpricedotcom

Contact : Josette Mey : e-mail : ir@artprice.com

Publicités

Artprice Rapport Financier Annuel 2011 : Résultats bénéficiaires

Artprice Rapport Financier Annuel 2011 : Résultats bénéficiaires.
Au 31/12/2011, Artprice dégage un résultat bénéficiaire de 439 KE en compte sociaux et un résultat net consolidé groupe de 94 KE. Il faut souligner la performance d’Artprice d’avoir maintenu un résultat positif et enregistré un chiffre d’affaires annuel de 5 220 KE alors que la société est passée, durant l’année 2011, d’un modèle semi-payant à un modèle 100% gratuit pour sa Place de Marché Normalisée à prix fixe, permettant ainsi d’absorber plus rapidement que prévu le marché mondial des ventes d’art de gré à gré sans la moindre perte d’exploitation.

De même, tous les investissements relatifs à la Directive Européenne sur les services (libéralisation des ventes aux enchères par voie électronique par la loi 2011-850 du 20 juillet 2011) ont été intégralement comptabilisés en poste de charge sur l’exercice 2011, notamment tous les développements très conséquents relatifs à la Place de Marché Normalisée ® à prix fixe et aux enchères cette dernière étant pleinement opérationnelle depuis le 18 janvier 2012.

Le Rapport Financier Annuel 2011, incluant les honoraires des CAC et le rapport du Président sur le contrôle interne est disponible aux adresses suivantes :

http://serveur.serveur.com/Press_Release/2012_communication_financiere.html
http://www.actusnews.com/documents/ACTUS-0-4408-artprice-rapport-financier-2011.pdf

Selon thierry Ehrmann, Fondateur et Président d’Artprice, cette stratégie de gratuité de la Place de Marché Normalisée à prix fixe désormais confortée par près de 8 ans de croissance exponentielle de l’offre était nécessaire à Artprice pour être un acteur mondial incontournable de la libéralisation des ventes aux enchères d’art en 2012, par voie électronique, par sa Place de Marché Normalisée aux enchères et à prix fixe, protégée au titre de la propriété intellectuelle.

Le modèle de la Place de Marché Normalisée à prix fixe est désormais éprouvé et validé par le marché de l’Art notamment en période de crise majeure. Les chiffres parlent d’eux-mêmes : selon le rapport d’activité 2005 du Conseil des ventes volontaires de meubles aux enchères publiques, "l’offre sur Artprice était de 1,3 milliard d’euros d’oeuvres d’Art". En 2006, l’offre était de 2,7 milliards d’euros d’oeuvres d’Art. En 2007, l’offre était de 4,32 milliards d’euros d’oeuvres d’Art. En 2008, l’offre était de 5,4 milliards d’euros d’oeuvres d’Art. En 2009, l’offre était de 5,85 milliards d’euros. En 2011, Artprice confirme avoir quantifié un volume d’environ 6,3 milliards d’euros d’oeuvres d’art avec un taux de ventes estimé à environ, de l’ordre d’un tiers sur lesquelles Artprice n’est pas encore commissionnée.

Les capitaux propres, en comptes consolidés, s’améliorent à 13 246 KE, en 2011, contre 13 064 KE, en 2010. Ces résultats confirment la maîtrise des coûts d’exploitation en période d’instabilité économique mondiale et notamment sur le marché de l’Art. Artprice, en 15 ans, a mis en place l’ensemble des process industriels permettant de limiter l’effectif à une moyenne inférieure à 45 personnes pour un groupe où l’intégralité des charges en 2012, avec Artprice Images(R), demeurent inchangées jusqu’à désormais 90 ME de C.A en incluant cette année les charges potentielles découlant de l’extension de la Place de Marché Normalisée® d’Artprice aux enchères laquelle est opérationnelle depuis fin janvier 2012. (désormais réglementée par les alinéas 2 et 3 de l’article L 321.3 du code du commerce).

Artprice n’a aucun emprunt obligataire, une dette bancaire proche de zéro et dispose d’une trésorerie conséquente. Le chiffre d’affaires annuel (comptes sociaux) s’est élevé à 5 220 KE comme pour l’exercice précédent. Pour information, Artprice n’a jamais fait l’objet d’augmentation de capital à l’exception des opérations de levées d’options réservées à ses salariés. Ceci résulte d’une volonté affichée du Conseil d’Administration d’Artprice de ne pas diluer ses actionnaires et affaiblir le cours de l’action.

Enfin Artprice invite ses nouveaux actionnaires qui désirent connaître l’historique de la Société à prendre pleinement connaissance de son information réglementée et très détaillée dans son Rapport Financier Annuel 2011 et, notamment, au niveau des paragraphes 2.1 << Activité et événements importants survenus au cours de l’exercice >>, 2.2: – << Evénements importants intervenus depuis la date de clôture, le 31 décembre 2011, et perspectives d’avenir >> ,2.4 <<Analyses des risques>> et .2.6 << Informations complémentaires>> du rapport du Conseil d’Administration.

Concernant l’évolution du Marché de l’Art en 2012, face à l’incertitude d’une récession en Europe et d’une croissance anémique sur les autres continents, Artprice indique que, grâce à l’AMCI (indice de confiance d’Artprice du marché de l’art en temps réel), l’Art Market Confidence Index, qui fait désormais référence dans le marché de l’art et la presse économique, Artprice constate et confirme une hausse continuelle de son indice de confiance sur l’ensemble des pays qui représente 90 % du marché de l’art depuis fin 2011.

Cette confiance se retrouve aux USA qui ont été les premiers touchés par la crise du marché de l’Art mais aussi en Europe et bien sur en Asie. De même, la remontée des prix des oeuvres d’art (Artprice Global Index) sur l’ensemble des continents montre que la reprise du Marché de l’Art est définitivement en marche.

Les résultats spectaculaires enregistrés en 2011 sur le marché de l’Art, attestent les chiffres et prévisions d’Artprice. Au même titre que l’or, le marché de l’Art, a toujours été, historiquement, une valeur refuge face aux crises de grandes ampleurs et notamment aux dépréciations d’actifs financiers que l’économie mondiale continue d’affronter en 2012/2013.

On peut logiquement considérer que la crise, puis la reprise accompagnée d’une violente et rapide correction du marché de l’art avec l’irruption de la Chine au premier rang dès 2010 avec désormais pour 2011, près de 50% de part de marché des ventes aux enchères de Fine Art devant le Royaume-Uni et les USA est une opportunité de forte croissance pour Artprice. Il faut préciser que l’intégralité des services, produits, Place de Marché Normalisée aux enchères et à prix fixe ainsi que 27 millions de pages de données sont en chinois dans un marché de plus en plus dématérialisé et mondial.

En effet, l’économie du marché de l’art, comme tous les marchés, tend naturellement à privilégier le circuit le plus rapide, le moins coûteux, le plus liquide et celui permettant de trouver un prix de marché en temps réel avec une masse critique d’intervenants avec bien sur, une information transparente sur l’intégralité des prix et indices. La Place de Marché Normalisée d’Artprice à prix fixe et aux enchères et ses banques de données (toutes protégées au titre de la propriété intellectuelle) répondent exactement à ces cinq points.

Du fait de la crise économique et financière mondiale qui a changé, en une décennie, la géopolitique du marché de l’art mondial, la quasi totalité des maisons de ventes dans le monde, et principalement asiatique, se rapproche d’Artprice qui travaille avec elles en étroite collaboration depuis 1987, pour réaliser, avec l’adoption de la Directive Services relative aux enchères publiques, notamment par voie électronique, leurs enchères en ligne grâce à la Place de Marché Normalisée d’Artprice et ses 1,4 million de membres dans plus de 90 pays.

Il est vrai qu’en 12 ans, le nombre de connectés à Internet est passé de 90 millions à 2,7 milliards d’internautes devenus consommateurs de biens et de services, mais il faut surtout prendre en compte l’arrivée plus récente des "Silver surfeur" que sont les plus de 50 ans, à haut pouvoir d’achat et principaux utilisateurs d’Artprice, qui font désormais d’Internet leur terrain de prédilection pour la recherche d’oeuvres d’art dans le monde.

Le triomphe commercial de l’Internet mobile colle parfaitement à Artprice, car sa clientèle est par nature nomade et a besoin d’informations dans le feu de l’action, comme les experts, les assureurs, les galeristes, les auctioneers, les douanes et bien sûr les collectionneurs et amateurs en situation d’achat ou de vente en galerie ou en salle des ventes.

L’Internet mobile pour Artprice devrait représenter sous peu de temps, 80% de ses consultations. Artprice en 2011 est déjà à plus de 30%. L’ensemble des grands bureaux d’études émet une prévision en nombre de Smartphones vendus pour 2012 qui se situe entre 550 et 700 millions de nouveaux internautes mobiles. En 2015, c’est plus de 3,5 milliards d’internautes mobiles qui pourront potentiellement se connecter à Artprice.

Afin d’accroître le niveau de sécurité et de confiance dans l’économie numérique, Artprice s’est rapprochée en 2011 d’Interpol Monde où sur l’ensemble des pages clés des banques de données d’Artprice et principalement sur la Place de Marché Normalisée, figurent de manière permanente le logo Interpol et le lien hypertexte vers INTERPOL’s Stolen Works of Art database permettant à la clientèle d’Artprice de vérifier si l’oeuvre présentée fait l’objet d’une poursuite judiciaire. A contrario de services de ventes aux enchères grand public et notoirement connus, Artprice impose à sa clientèle une présence judiciaire permanente donnant ainsi la confiance nécessaire au bon développement de sa Place de Marché Normalisée à prix fixe ou aux enchères.

De même, son concours depuis 5 ans avec près de 70 polices judiciaires de différentes nationalités, a permis à Artprice d’établir un niveau de confiance rarement égalé sur l’Internet, renforcé par la collaboration constante avec les artistes, les ayants droits et les experts.
Au coeur de sa Place de Marché Normalisée, Artprice possède le fichier clients qualifié fine art le plus important au monde. Ce fichier clients (conservation des logs de comportements clients en accord avec les différentes directives Françaises et Européennes ) est, dans le marché de l’art, la base de la réussite d’une vente aux enchères cataloguée depuis la naissance des enchères d’art en Europe au début du XIX siècle.

Artprice invite ses actionnaires et le marché, pour comprendre précisément cette révolution législative et historique de 5 siècles et l’impact sur Artprice, à lire en 50 questions-réponses courtes et pédagogiques la synthèse faite en mars 2012 de la Place de Marché Normalisée à prix fixe et aux enchères depuis son lancement fin janvier 2012.
Lien Internet ci joint sur Actusnews, site homologué de l’AMF à l’adresse ci-jointe :
http://www.actusnews.com/communique.php?ID=ACTUS-0-26960

Artprice avec plus de 12 ans de communication réglementée, se fait un point d’honneur à produire toute l’information nécessaire aux professionnels des marchés financiers, mais aussi aux néophytes du marché de l’art. Toutes les questions des 18 000 actionnaires d’Artprice trouvent systématiquement leurs réponses dans l’information réglementée d’Artprice qu’elle diffuse en ligne sur Internet sur son propre site et sur celui de son diffuseur, homologué par l’AMF, ActusNews (www.actusnews.com).

Source: http://www.artprice.com ©1987-2012 thierry Ehrmann

Artprice est le leader mondial des banques de données sur la cotation et les indices de l’Art avec plus de 27 millions d’indices et résultats de ventes couvrant 450 000 Artistes. Artprice Images(R) permet un accès illimité au plus grand fonds du Marché de l’Art au monde, bibliothèque constituée de 108 millions d’images ou gravures d’œuvres d’Art de 1700 à nos jours commentées par ses historiens. Artprice enrichit en permanence ses banques de données en provenance de 4 500 Maisons de ventes et publie en continu les tendances du Marché de l’Art pour les principales agences et 6 300 titres de presse dans le monde. Artprice diffuse auprès de ses 1 300 000 membres (member log in), ses annonces, qui constituent désormais la première Place de Marché Normalisée® mondiale pour acheter et vendre des oeuvres d’Art à prix fixes ou aux enchères (réglementée par les alinéas 2 et 3 de l’article L 321.3 du code du commerce). Source Artprice

Artprice est cotée sur Eurolist by Euronext Paris au compartiment B, SRD long only : Euroclear : 7478 – Bloomberg : PRC – Reuters : ARTF

Découvrir l’alchimie et l’univers d’Artprice http://web.artprice.com/video/ dont le siège social est le célèbre Musée d’art contemporain Abode of Chaos.

Sommaire des communiqués d’Artprice :
http://serveur.serveur.com/press_release/pressreleasefr.htm

Suivez en temps réel toute l’actualité du marché de l’art :
Artprice.com sur Twitter : http://twitter.com/artpricedotcom/

Mise au point d’Artprice dans le cadre des conflits l’opposant à Boursorama S.A.

Suite à de nombreuses demandes d’actionnaires d’Artprice, la société Artprice prend acte que la société Boursorama, principalement selon la présidente en exercice Inès-Claire MERCEREAU, considère qu’il n’existe pas de conflit et/ou de procédure entre Artprice et Boursorama SA.

Artprice tient à ramener la preuve à son actionnariat que toutes les démarches et procédures possibles ont été réalisées à l’égard de Boursorama SA.

En effet, Artprice fait valoir son bon droit et rétablit la vérité, que Boursorama nie, en communiquant une courte extraction des très nombreux P.V. d’huissier délivrés à la demande d’Artprice à la société Boursorama S.A. sur la période 2011-2012, avec une énième signification datant du vendredi 23 mars 2012.
http://serveur.serveur.com/Press_Release/2012_pdf/extraits-pv-huissiers-artprice-contre-boursorama.pdf

Ces extractions de P.V. comportent entres autres des significations, des sommations itèratives…. faites à Boursorama SA dont le siège est 18 quai du Point du Jour 92100 Boulogne Billancourt pour lui demander de faire cesser les infractions et délits constatés sur son forum ou, à défaut, de fermer ledit forum si Boursorama est dans l’incapacité de faire face à la situation.

Ces actes ont été délivrés par le ministère de notre Huissier lyonnais, Me Mamet, et son confrère en région parisienne. Artprice confirme, par la présente, ne jamais avoir, sous quelque forme que ce soit, reçu de Boursorama SA la moindre réponse constructive. Artprice peut sereinement déclarer que Boursorama, par son silence confondant et son absence absolue de toute décision de nature à faire cesser les infractions, les délits pénaux et les violations répétées du code monétaire et financier, est désormais, à minima, complice passive des infractions qu’elle laisse se dérouler en toute impunité sur son forum.

Pour des raisons de confidentialité et/ou du fait du secret de l’instruction, les coordonnées privées et destinataires en copie desdits P.V. sont biffés. Par ailleurs, Artprice communique à nouveau le conflit Artprice-Boursorama relaté au chapitre 4.3.22 de son document de référence 2010 consacré aux risques (cf ci-dessous), ce facteur risque est aussi systématiquement présent dans les rapports des comptes semestriels et annuels qui sont notamment en ligne sur actusnews à l’adresse suivante :
http://www.actusnews.com/societe_documents.php?ID=ART

« 4.3.22) Risques liés aux Forums de bourse parlant d’Artprice et principalement le forum Boursorama

Artprice ne peut en aucun cas être tenu responsable des propos tenus sur les forums de bourse parlant du titre Artprice. La politique de communication d’Artprice respecte strictement les dispositions imposées, notamment, par le code monétaire et financier. A ce titre, quelles que soient les circonstances, Artprice s’interdit formellement d’intervenir de quelque manière que ce soit sur les forums. Cependant il faut souligner que le forum Boursorama (leader incontesté en France des forums dédiés à la bourse) consacré à Artprice fait l’objet de poursuite d’Artprice contre Boursorama. En effet, malgré de nombreuses mises en garde, LRAR, mesures conservatoires par voie d’huissier, requêtes et ordonnances du TGI, la société Boursorama (groupe Société Générale), par son laxisme répété, agit en violation du code monétaire et financier qu’elle ne peut pourtant prétendre ignorer, étant elle même cotée sur Eurolist et possédant, de surcroît, le statut de banque. Artprice a renouvelé, à plusieurs reprises la procédure par voie d’huissier et sommation itérative, de faire cesser les délits cités au présent paragraphe, à sa présidente en exercice, Mme Ines-Claire MERCEREAU, lors de sa prise de fonction, afin qu’elle ne fasse pas prévaloir sa méconnaissance des délits qui se perpétuent sur le forum de Boursorama et dont elle est pleinement responsable en sa qualité de mandataire social de Boursorama Banque. Boursorama essaie de faire prévaloir qu’il n’est qu’un simple hébergeur avec de modestes moyens alors que c’est bien sur le courrier entête Boursorama Banque et le RCS de cette même banque que la Présidente tente en vain de faire croire à Artprice qu’elle n’a qu’un statut d’hébergeur.

Depuis début 2011, la situation avec Boursorama s’est nettement dégradée malgré les nombreuses mises en demeure signifiées par voie d’huissier. Artprice considère que Boursorama, filiale de la Société Générale, viole de manière constante le code monétaire et financier et permet, par ses forums, malgré les mises en garde sévères de l’AMF, de laisser opérer certains individus qui créent, dans la même journée, des mouvements de panique par de fausses informations permettant d’effondrer les « stop » pour, toujours dans la même journée, créer des variations intraday leurs permettant, sur d’énormes volumes, de réaliser des plus-values conséquentes par des maneuvres formellement prohibées.

La position d’Artprice est extrèmement claire et considère, qu’après toutes les mises en demeure et plaintes, que la société Boursorama est, au minimum, complice passive desdits agissements décrits au présent paragraphe. Artprice cirularise régulièrement à l’AMF les significations et P.V d’huissier faits à sa Présidence en exercice, Mme Ines-Claire MERCEREAU, pour que les services de l’inspection de l’AMF puissent enquêter sur les Forums de Boursorama qui, de manière unanime sont reconnus par la communauté financière comme étant un outrage permanent à l’AMF, au code monétaire et financier et au droit pénal commun. De très nombreux actionnaires d’Artprice ont, par écrit et oralement, confirmé à Artprice qu’ils constataient de leurs cotés, indépendamment d’Artprice, les mêmes délits que ceux décrits par Artprice au présent paragraphe. Il est d’autant plus troublant de constater qu’Artprice est, de manière quasi systématique, dans les 5 premiers forums, sur plusieurs milliers, et que Boursorama, en parallèle, affiche les plus fortes ventes ou les plus forts achats en sa qualité de Courtier en ligne sur le même service que les forums. Ceci renforce la suspicion portée sur Boursorama Banque qui ose se prétendre simple hébergeur en ligne alors que le présent paragraphe démontre une orchestration parfaite destinée à stimuler les achats/ventes d’actions en ligne par les clients de Boursorama. »

Artprice est le leader mondial des banques de données sur la cotation et les indices de l’Art avec plus de 27 millions d’indices et résultats de ventes couvrant 450 000 Artistes. Artprice Images(R) permet un accès illimité au plus grand fonds du Marché de l’Art au monde, bibliothèque constituée de 108 millions d’images ou gravures d’oeuvres d’Art de 1700 à nos jours commentées par ses historiens. Artprice enrichit en permanence ses banques de données en provenance de 4 500 Maisons de ventes et publie en continu les tendances du Marché de l’Art pour les principales agences et 6 300 titres de presse dans le monde. Artprice diffuse auprès de ses 1 400 000 membres (member log in), ses annonces, qui constituent désormais la première Place de Marché Normalisée(R) mondiale pour acheter et vendre des oeuvres d’Art à prix fixes ou aux enchères (réglementée par les alinéas 2 et 3 de l’article L 321.3 du code du commerce).

Artprice est cotée sur Eurolist by Euronext Paris au compartiment B, SRD long only : Euroclear : 7478 – Bloomberg : PRC – Reuters : ARTF

Sommaire des communiqués d’Artprice:

http://serveur.serveur.com/press_release/pressreleasefr.htm

Découvrir l’alchimie et l’univers d’Artprice http://web.artprice.com/video dont le siège social est le célèbre Musée d’art contemporain Abode of Chaos.

Suivre en temps réel toute l’actualité du Marché de l’art avec Artprice sur Twitter: http://twitter.com/artpricedotcom

Contact: Josette Mey, tel: +33(0)478-220-000, e-mail: ir@artprice.com

Third Part of the exclusive interview of thierry Ehrmann, founder of Artprice.com (March 7, 2012)

Boursica:
We already published in-depth interviews with you on June 5 and October 9, 2011. Today we are at the beginning of March 2012 and bidding started on Artprice nearly a month and a half ago. What are your impressions so far?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Before we begin, I should warn readers that some of the themes discussed in this interview are followed directly on from our discussion on June 5, 2011 and October 9, 2011 which are therefore the basis for this third interview. So… we actually started our auction activity on January 18, 2012, after 16 years of legal wrangling with one of the world’s oldest monopolies, art auctions, dating back to the Edict of 1556. At the end of this struggle we have finally managed to impose a situation of free competition via the now famous law of 20 July 2011.

Boursica:
You have become an "Auction House"?

Thierry Ehrmann:
No. Specifically we have become an auction broker, operating remotely, via internet, as defined by Article 5 of Law 2011-850 of 20 July 2011 and by our standardized auction marketplace®.

Boursica:
Can you clarify?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Artprice has a unique set of art market standardization processes based on a broad range of Intellectual property patents (sui generis software patents, copyright, etc), which allows us, via the Marketplace Normalized, to match supply and demand in real time, either in a fixed price environment or an auction environment. In the latter case, we are not responsible for the auction because we are not linked to the parties (buyers and sellers). It is the vendor who ultimately chooses the highest bid, according to his own criteria, and he pays between 5 and 9% commission for using our Standardized Auction Market Place and our client database. This client database is currently the world’s largest in the art market, with 1.4 million members, about whom we know, for each one, very precisely, what they are looking for and what they want to sell.

Boursica:
Returning to the last month and a half. What have you seen in seven weeks?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Our initial challenge, and it by no means an easy one, was to gather an offer of 5,000 lots for the auction opening day on January 18, 2012. The total value of the works amounted to more than 810 million euros with prices ranging from a few hundred euros to tens of millions of euros.

Of course the background to these first 45 days of auction brokerage activity is our Standardized Fixed-Price Marketplace, which began on 18 January 2005 and has grown very substantially from an initial offer of €1.2 billion in 2005, followed by more than €2.7 billion in 2006, €3.6 billion in 2007, €4.5 billion in 2008, €5.4 billion in 2009, before stabilizing in 2010/2011 with approximately €6.3 billion with approximately 30% of completed sales being commission-free (the exact figures are available in our reference documents and regulated communication on the ActusNews website, approved by the AMF). The reactions we have received from the art market principal players to our latest auction platform in 2012 have been fast and remarkably positive; however there is still a small hard core, mainly centered around Drouot, that has
given us a distinctly hostile reception and the old guard has deployed means of harassment and threats that are really out of place in modern Europe.

Boursica:
Let's talk about this "remarkable positive" reaction, as you say.

Thierry Ehrmann:
We were rapidly congratulated by a whole generation of Gallery owners, Auction Houses, Art Dealers, Artists, Collectors and Enthusiasts who have realized that nothing will be the same as before. As our auctions are limited in time, the volume of transactions and exchanges has really exploded compared with Artprice’s Standardized Fixed-Price Marketplace where time is not an important factor. In the days that followed our launch, our internet bandwidth traffic and volume of logs multiplied almost fivefold. We have had testimonies and contributions of an unrivaled intensity. It is clear that for a whole generation of art market players – aged 25 to 50 roughly speaking – Artprice, with its giant client database (1.4 million members) and its billions of behavior logs stored in accordance with European and French law, has opened the possibility to consult information on little-known
artists from the office or the home in seconds and to reach tens of thousands of potential buyers of specific artists on five continents in just a few hours. We have established unprecedented discussions with a number of these market players who have had the courage to re-think their entire sales process.

Boursica:
What is the objective of these discussions and what will be their outcome in practice?

Thierry Ehrmann:
For these art market players it amounts to a complete overhaul of their business model. They have suddenly discovered that they have a de facto firepower substantially greater than that offered by the client lists of the largest auction houses or famous galleries. Trapped within their own client lists and obliged to spend fortunes attending international art fairs to attract clients on other continents, suddenly, via Artprice's Standardized Auction Marketplace, they have discovered a new economic paradigm that impels them to migrate permanently to the Internet, which is now the best and most efficient way to conquer the five continents.

Boursica:
What do you mean by new economic paradigm?

Thierry Ehrmann:
They understand that their economic model, namely the practice of high margins with a limited number of sales due to a limited customer base, is changing. Some are considering partially closing their galleries or secondary showrooms; others will close their physical auction rooms. They are discovering, from a macroeconomic viewpoint, that the art market, which has grown from 500,000 collectors after the WWII, to 450 million "art consumers" today, can now be reached within minutes from their homes or offices. They can, therefore, very substantially reduce their margins, that were previously prohibitive, and multiply their turnover in proportions that they did not imagine before because they lacked the necessary and heavy financial means as well as a deep knowledge of the Internet. In six weeks, we have managed to brush aside lots of doubts and inhibitions. Economically, the
story has only just begun: bearing in mind the fourteen days of auction, the settlement to the trusted third party (approximately 15 days for international transfers) and the finalization of the sale between the buyer and the seller who gives the final release instruction, we are just beginning to receive the commissions from late January 2012 when we launched our auction brokerage service. So we will certainly be posted good surprises soon, because the offer on our Standardized Auction Marketplace is constantly growing and has been regularly since it opened January 18, 2012.

Boursica:
Do you know what the major Anglo-Saxon auction houses think of your business model?

Thierry Ehrmann:
I invite you to read the full page article in Les Echoes of March 3, 2012 by Robert Martine, in which Artprice Annual Art Market Report is presented alongside an interview with the Chairman of Christie's who concludes by saying "The future of the middle market (800 to € 10,000) is on the net". Who better than Christie's to confirm this?
I add, as CEO of Artprice, that this segment represents, on a global scale, 81% of global art market transactions. If an undisputed expert of the “old economy” of the art market is able to confirm that 81% of the global art market will be conducted over the Internet, it clears that our de facto leadership in this market via our standardized auction marketplace puts us in a very favorable position.

Boursica:
You mentioned doubts and inhibitions. Could you be more specific?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Indeed, particularly a major problem concerning the trusted third party. We selected the world's leading trustee Escrow.com. Their modus operandi is absolutely perfect but Escrow is handicapped by only accepting the US dollar, which was a significant drawback, mainly for our European customers. We therefore chose, in record time, a second trustee, after a tender, which is Transpact in the UK, who handles the USD, the Euro and the Pound Sterling and which became available as of mid- February. But we still have the problem of the language barrier. Whereas our customers have access to Artprice in six languages, both of the websites of our two trusted third parties are in English only which turns out to be a real obstacle because the sums involved are very important and our customers want, from a legal and practical perspective, to fully understand all the steps and procedures of escrow
and release with the trustee.

Boursica:
But why not choose a trusted third party for each linguistic area?

Thierry Ehrmann:

I must confess that no bank or similar establishment, particularly in France, has so far been able to satisfy our specifications, despite the fact that the sums involved will eventually be colossal and that, in the digital economy, the notion of a trusted third party, is already applicable to many other groups and economic activities, quite different from Artprice and the Art Market. This reflects, among other things, a certain failure of the French economy to adapt to the digital and de facto global economy in which we are now living …

Boursica:
Is there no solution? And why not do it yourself?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Under the Act of 20 July 2011 concerning online auctions, and notably Article 5 transcribed in Article 321-3 of the French Commercial Code (paragraphs 2 and 3), it is essential that the trusted third party that holds the sequestered funds and then releases the funds be fully independent from Artprice, both legally and capitalistically. But I can assure you that we have demonstrated to our two trustee partners, the high number of clients who arrived on the web page of the trusted third party and then dropped of the transaction because they feel that transferring large amounts of money without a complete mastery of the text in their own language represents a significant risk. Thus by proving to them exactly how much business they were losing we have managed to convince them to translate their web pages and their computer APIs into the languages used by Artprice (French, English, German,
Italian, Spanish and Chinese).
So the problem will be fully resolved by the second quarter with also very likley the arrival of a third Asian partner as trustee for the Asia / Pacific region.

Boursica:

Can we consider that the Standardized Auction Marketplace is now fixed?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Yes, in essence, everything is there. But Artprice has a very strong corporate culture of building systems that are concrete, simple and inexpensive in human resources. We deliberately leave a significant proportion open to a wide variety of extensions based on information from our Customer Service that is a real advantage for analyzing customer requests from all countries. The biggest danger is developing monolithic software that is trapped within a colossal specification imposed by force on international customers. The big mistake the French often make is trying to impose a product according to its own tastes. Artprice has an opposite practice and we believe that customers and the market are our best prescribers and advisers. This approach seems simple and yet very few groups in France adopt it.

Boursica:
You mentioned in a press release that the current online offer already corresponds to your forecast for 2013. Is that still the case?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Indeed, we had expected 300 new lots presented each day, corresponding to an average of 90,000 lots per year. We are currently seeing an average of around 500/700 new lots per day within a very broad price range. It should be noted that for a large auction house, a handsome catalogued sales never exceeds 300 to 350 lots offered and on average it takes 2-3 months of preparation, whereas for Artprice it takes 12 hours on average. That is worth thinking about….

Boursica:
Why not transfer the Standardized Fixed-Price Marketplace to the auction platform directly? This would bring in turnover that you already own, and which would be substantial and immediate for Artprice.

Thierry Ehrmann:
Indeed, the question arose and we had a real debate at the heart of Artprice. As creator of the Standardized Fixed-Price Marketplace I considered that its massive volumes represent a genuine ecosystem since January 2005 and that we should make a smooth transition, without forcing our loyal customers.

Boursica:
You seem very sure of your premise. Could you develop this idea?

Thierry Ehrmann:

It's simple, I assume that a vast majority of sellers would naturally choose the auction because, unlike real estate or automobiles markets where the difference between the fixed-price and the auction price is not that large, in the case of Artprice, the fixed price / auction differential on a work of art can easily run to double, even if the fixed price seller is a market professional. It is this premise that has allowed me to believe that for 7 years we have acquired a huge number of sellers and buyers worldwide in the form of databases and proprietary software, who generate an annual sales volume estimated at about €1.8 billion out of the €6.3 billion works presented for sale (in value terms). It would, in my opinion, be mad to force these market players, who have strong personalities and are perfectly capable of forming an opinion themselves, onto the art
auction market. In fact, this notion is confirmed everyday as we see natural migrations to the auction platform.

Boursica:
But your shareholders want an immediate result?

Thierry Ehrmann:
We have already been extremely patient waiting for France to decide to write a European directive into domestic law. I refuse to play a counter-productive game to appease a small number of shareholders who want daily regulated communication and who equate our share price with that of the gambling company La Française des Jeux. I have nothing against the La Française des Jeux which is also a quality group; but the thrill-seekers who want a daily performance are not destined to be Artprice shareholders.

Boursica:
What do your existing shareholders think?

Thierry Ehrmann:
In fact, all of our existing and major shareholders are almost more patient than we are. According to art market historians and sociologists we are fostering a change as important as the switch from open outcry trading to ECNs like the NASDAQ or Thomson Reuters’ Instinet. As such, it may take a little time, particularly as, with our intellectual and industrial property rights, we have a legal monopoly regarding the standardization of the Art Market (artist ID, work ID, catalogue raisonné ID, estimate / econometrics ID… See previous Boursica interviews) without any abuse of a dominant position and therefore with an absolute lack of serious competitors possessing similar intellectual property rights over the last 16 years. In the unlikely event that one day a number 2 arrives on the market, the hard rule that I have been practicing for 25 years with regard to online
business would apply, i.e. "Second place is the First loser".

Boursica:
Will we see a report with the extraordinary general meeting of 30 March 2012 which was not in the calendar?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Yes, indeed. This EGM will definitively set in stone the success of our economic transformation that is now a certainty for us. First of all, after 16 years of work, we have become the world leader in art market information with 1.4 million subscribers. In early 2012 we have acquired the conviction that the heart of our business are the Standardized Fixed-Price and Auction Marketplaces and that these activities generate an optimal level of profitability. That is why we are substantially altering our corporate purpose in order to remain consistent with the adventure that is Artprice’s extraordinary growth and development.

Boursica:
Some of our readers have suggested that a capital increase will be announced at the EGM. Is this the case? I thought you were against the idea.

Thierry Ehrmann:
There is no question of a capital increase but only of a stock option plan in order to attract the rare and atypical profiles we are seeking for our Standardized Auction Marketplace activity. It is clear that we are seeking the best people from the somewhat exclusive world of the art market and we want to give ourselves the power to attract these people. Similarly it makes perfect sense to reward employees of Artprice who have committed so much of their time to the business.
Concerning capital increases, I reiterate my comments, that I am totally opposed to capital increases which not only dilute shareholders but also – which is often forgotten – prevent the listed company’s share price from rising very quickly. Unlike the vast majority of listed companies, we have no debt whatsoever, no overdraft, no short, medium or long term loans outstanding, no bank covenants or financial instruments to repay such as equity warrants or other derivatives. At the same time we have an excellent cash position and a negative working capital requirement.

Boursica:
A few days ago, you published your 2011 art market report. How is it that all the French and international media and institutions only quote Artprice when talking about the art market? Is the due to some kind of lobbying?

Thierry Ehrmann:

No, I assure you… there is only one answer to your question: Artprice’s history: today we are the only group ever to have standardized the art market with more than one million hours of work by historians, researchers and art market journalists who have researched and written on all the works from these manuscripts and art catalogues from the 17th century to today. It is because we have the world’s largest art market information database that can trace works of art over the centuries, with 108,000,000 images and engravings of artworks from 1700 to the present day, each accompanied by comments by our art historians. With this normalization and more than 3,600 auction houses that are connected to our secure intranet, we are the only news agency (Art Market Insight) to be able to provide macro-economic data, prices and indices based on the repeat sales method and over
one hundred benchmarks that allow more than 6,300 media each year to understand the art market via objective and comprehensive figures.

Boursica:
Do you have a concrete example?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Take for example China, where we are by far the only ones capable of gathering and processing information in a market where the language barrier and the habits and customs make it a difficult and delicate task.

Boursica:
This permanent presence in the media does it have a cost?

Thierry Ehrmann:
No, quite the contrary, on a systematic and contractual basis, the press and broadcast media are obliged to quote their Internet sources with our code and to comment on our methodology. We estimate that each year we save between 16 and 18 million euros by not having to buy advertising space which, in any case, would not have the same relevance because nothing can replace press agency content which has a much deeper impact than advertising, however clever it may be. As regards market research destined specifically for the media, insurance companies or private banks, this is of course billed at an appropriate tariff.

Boursica:
But didn’t you mention an international advertising campaign for the launch of the Standardized Auction Marketplace?

Thierry Ehrmann:

Yes, in the framework of the launch of our auction activity, we certainly received very good media coverage, but we have also decided to implement for the year 2012, a campaign plan focused on the art press, whereby we select in each key country the leader and co-leader as well as TV network campaigns that are highly targeted on art and the luxury sectors. The campaign began in late January 2012, in line with the art market’s calendar, which invariably gets into full swing with the so-called spring sales.

Boursica:
Returning to Artprice’s 2011 annual art market report which was just released. Although it is available on your website, could you tell us briefly what is its basic conclusion?

Thierry Ehrmann:
The first lesson is its title: "Art has never sold as well as in 2011". Global auction revenue exceeded its absolute record with total revenue amounting to $11.5 billion. This means that, based on a standard ratio between the secondary and the primary art market, the total base of the art market, including the primary market (galleries, art dealers and brokers), now represents approximately $90 billion. In addition, the unsold ratio was at its lowest. China is way ahead of the United States generating 41.4% of total global auction revenue and Asia alone has become a real market with almost 45% of the global market. Chinese artists are ranked highest in both our Top 10 and our Top 500. Look for example at the habitually top-ranked artist in the West, Pablo Picasso. For the first time, in decades is not even in the top-3, having been relegated to 4th place. As for France,
nothing new, the continuous contraction, over and over again.
The number of auction results above the million-dollar line is continuing to grow worldwide, particularly in Asia.

Boursica:
The art market is therefore like gold… is it a safe haven?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Yes, this phenomenon has been severely tested by the economic crisis that started in 2008 and the near-collapse of the financial world in 2011. In effect, the art market has shown great maturity and performance. It's not for nothing that the private banking and wealth managers now advise, thanks to Artprice’s econometric tools, to diversify into the art market in times of crisis. I invite you to study the progressions of our indices per price range and you will understand that the Artprice Global Index has performed better than the S&P 500 and the Eurostoxx 50.

Boursica:

Speaking of million-dollar results, how long do you think it will be before we see a 7-figure result on Artprice…an event that would indeed be momentous ?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Seven-figure results on Artprice are an absolute certainty, given our discussions with major players in the art market. So it's only a matter of time. One guess I will make…. whenever it is, it will concern a Chinese artist.

Boursica:
To return to France’s performance on the global art market, why such a contraction from year to year?

Thierry Ehrmann:

I have often been asked this question. France was the world number 1 in the 60's but alas, it has continued to lose ground. Some numbers: its Contemporary art market weighs just over USD 13 million a year, which on a global scale, is tiny. On a good day New York or London are capable of generating more from just one cataloged sale than France can in an entire year. It is evident that nearly 500 years of auction monopoly and the first “reform” of 2000, which was a complete misnomer, have contributed to paralyzing the French market. We have had very personal experience of this in our 16 years of litigation and ten legal procedures from which we have emerged victorious after years of waiting.

Boursica:
But the war is now over between Artprice and the old monopoly?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Economically, the die is cast and we have a Californian highway in front of us. On the legal front, without being vindictive, we have to finalize some issues where the economic damage we have suffered must lead to a compensatory process. Likewise, some unsuccessful claims deserve to be matched by counterclaims. In addition, we are firmly maintaining our criminal complaint with the Competition Authorities against French auction houses for non-competitive practices with new elements since late January 2012.

Boursica:
Who are you targeting?

Thierry Ehrmann:
In fact, a handful of former Parisian auctioneers, mainly at Drouot, with its judicial scandals and repeated indictments. As regards France’s auction market supervisory authority the Conseil des Ventes Volontaires (CVV), its press release dated January 6, 2012 a few hours before the launch of our Standardized Auction Marketplace, without any prior mail or phone call or warning, was totally surreal as this authority knows us very well, both from our meetings and from the data we supply them with each year for their annual report on the auction market. I ask you…Since when has an initial legal notification been delivered in the form of a press release, without any advance notification through the courts?
For me the mission of the CVV is important, but it should conduct its missions in strict compliance with the legal and adversarial procedure under French law. Things being what they are, we suspect that the afore-mentioned small group of former auctioneers close to Drouot, angered by the consequences of the law of 20 July 2011 and in particular Article 5, which I just mentioned, intentionally misled the CVV that has worked in recent years with scarce resources, and has had the courage to initiate a real debate on the inexorable decline of the French auction market. You should know that we have received extremely violent threats from a few players who cannot bear to see their margins and markets collapse. My natural insight and many years of experience allow me to observe with complete equanimity that such manifestations of hate and anger prove that we have hit exactly where the profit
is buried. In other words, our 5% net commission on works sold over €15,000 and 7% on works sold €7,500 to €15,000… that is what they don’t like!

Boursica:
So with your help, among others, has Internet therefore devoured the art market?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Everything must be kept in proportion and don’t forget that more than 4,500 art websites have disappeared since 2000 and we have seen the virtual disappearance of listed Internet art site, now relegated to the OTC market with hardly any trading volume. In our case, we started Artprice when there were less than 30 million Internet users and there are now over 2.7 billion users, with the best yet to come. But above all, the statement by the Head of Christie's about Artworks and Internet is an excellent reference for us.

Boursica:
There is still growth on the Internet?

Thierry Ehrmann:
We're only at 30% of the growth cycle on the Internet and at 15% of the dematerialization of the “old” economy. The mobile Internet suits Artprice perfectly, because our customers are nomadic by nature and needs information in the heat of the action, as experts, insurers, dealers, auction houses, customs services, and of course collectors and amateurs buying or selling in galleries or at auctions.
For Artprice, the mobile internet should represent about 80% of our consultations. We are already over 30% and this year all the major consulting firms have issued forecasts estimating the number of smartphones sold in 2012 at between 550 and 700 million, implying a massive number of new mobile users. In 2015, more than 3.5 billion mobile Internet users will be able to connect to Artprice.

Boursica:
What do you mean by 15% of the dematerialization of the old economy:

Thierry Ehrmann:
We are only at the beginning of the dematerialization of the old economy.
Let me quote my old master Pythagoras, the first philosopher for whom everything was numbers (with the exception of essences that are unquantifiable, inexpressible human emotions that have nothing to do with numbers). Hence…beyond the number of Internet users… almost every commercial transaction can be dematerialized… Artprice with the Art Market is a perfect example. In fact, you will see that the world is heading two distinctly complementary directions: dematerialization and sustainable development. The only real answer to the energy crisis is dematerialization.

Boursica:
Faced with such figures, how will you cope technically?

Thierry Ehrmann:
In the 1990s, through our parent company, Server Group, which is one of the earliest pioneers of the Internet since 1987 (according to Time Magazine), we have worked in compliance with European directives and the CNIL (French Data Protection Authority) on the concept of data mining, but we have now moved to the concept of "Big data" with data storage units measured in petabytes. This data is generated in real time; it comes from all countries in continuous streams, is meta tagged, but heterogeneously, and come from very diverse deconstructed non-predictive sources.

Boursica:
What is the difference between Big data and Data mining? Are we talking about the same thing?

Thierry Ehrmann:
No, I'll explain why. The concept of data mining was to cross groups’ high value-added database data in order to produce very high quality data. The concept of Big data has Data mining as a subset, but with the collection – in compliance with the rules of personal data protection – of billions of data (logs) previously considered non-core, whereas in fact, as soon as we saw how the cost of the petabyte (1000 terabytes) was diminishing, we realized that the data mining exploitation of this a priori less qualitative and considered negligible data, could in fact produce uncommonly rich data. We can now understand complex and immediate phenomena and quickly provide products and services that literally follow the demand of our tens of millions of free or paid visitors.

Boursica:
Specifically, what types of applications may "Big data" be able to provide?

Thierry Ehrmann:
We were able to measure, for example, since the opening of the Standardized Auction Marketplace on January 18, 2012, not only the sheer number of visitors who had never visited Artprice before, but also, by examining hundreds of millions of logs as of January 18, 2012, to understand why these new customers came only now, i.e. since the start of the auction service. Similarly, as I said earlier in this interview, in this enormous volume of traffic that has increased almost fivefold compared with the Standardized Fixed-Price Marketplace, we can interpret these new clients and prospects who appear to be only interested in the auction service, but who actually spend their time zapping between the Standardized Auction Marketplace and our free and low-value added data in our paid databases on prices, indices, and biographies, without spending more than €50.
Thanks to the Big data, we can produce tailored subscriptions that assume that 70% of these new clients and prospects are equipped with mobile internet and calculate their level of paid information according to their profiles that we estimate at around €36 per year or €3 per month. What changes everything in this analysis is that our target is no longer measured in millions of subscribers, as is the case now, but tens of millions of art consumers on mobile phones such as iPhones or Android OS Google phones

Boursica:
In all this, where are the artists?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Well this is it! in fact…thanks to the Big data, we realize that, despite our biographical database covering 1.8 million artists (of whom 450,000 sell through public auctions), there are nearly a million other artists who are much less known, with more discreet careers and who are really fascinated by the possibility of selling their works on our Standardized Auction Marketplace, with their biographies online, without going through the economic process of the gallery and then the auction house which they eschew for reasons of independence. This potential is far from negligible and the price of their works, often under €7500, allows us to apply our lower tariff range of 9% commissions and fees.

Boursica:
Regarding your social network Artprice Insider, how far have got with that?

Thierry Ehrmann:
This social network, built with sociologists and network professionals, will be the opposite of Facebook; professionals and Artprice members will appear under their real names and Artprice Insider will be coupled to the Standardized Fixed-Price and Auction Marketplace. The first tests have given excellent results and the information exchanges are all “uselful” unlike the majority of social networks which are overflowing with useless information. We’ve been perfecting it over the past 18 months because it is going to have an explosive impact on the cozy world of the art market, and we want to make sure we get it right.

Boursica:
This network, would it be reserved for art market initiates?

Thierry Ehrmann:

No, not exactly. I would say that this network is more akin to a think tank or a Brain box. The strength of Artprice Insider will be its capacity to foster original ideas, to bring together a pool of experts, to be a forum for expertise, to feed the debate concerning the art market and to encourage the emergence of new concepts. In short…Absolutely every aspect of the art market needs to be re-invented, having been totally asleep until the arrival of the Internet. Now here is a small scoop: there will be live contributions from members of the top 100 Market Makers of the art market on Artprice Insider.

Boursica:
With all these projects, how do you find the time to prepare a retrospective of your 30 years as a sculptor-artist for June 2012 at the Abode of Chaos, which apart from being Artprice’s headquarters, is also a Museum of Contemporary Art?
 
Thierry Ehrmann:
You are right… I will be “celebrating” my 30 years of work as a sculptor-artist in June of this year and I have indeed been preparing this event for 18 months in the shape of a major project consisting of 450 raw steel sculptures that are an invitation to visitors to complete the course and discover the 3,609 outdoor artworks forming the corpus of the Abode of Chaos (dixit The New York Times).

The project involved more than 900 tons of raw steel, master blacksmiths and high precision laser, to create what will be Europe’s largest statuary facility. Once again, I would say that my direct connection with creative processes helps me enormously in my relations with artists and art market players. Artprice could not exist or succeed without being totally immersed in the field of art. Anecdotally, among our 120,000 visitors per year, there are a significant number of shareholders and customers; so I can enjoy weekends of discussions and exchanges that are highly relevant to Artprice outside the work context. With a touch of humor, I can say that I do a 63 hour week. That said, this choice, which I accept with lucidity, can explain many things that some do not fully appreciate.

Boursica:
What about your stock price in 2011? And what are you expecting in 2012?

Thierry Ehrmann:
In my humble opinion, few managers of listed companies in Europe anticipated their stock market progressions in 2011 as accurately as we did. In 2011 Artprice posted the best performance of the entire French regulated market, rising no less than +472% over the year (on a total traded volume of €873 million) and passing the symbolic €67 mark that I had predicted on the basis of the famous stock market dictum "price seen, price re-seen". On a sliding annual basis to date, our share price has posted an increase of 476% on a traded volume of €1.25 billion. This year, with the Compartment B Eurolist and our transition to SRD Long Only a few days ago, and of course the new auction activity, I believe that we could see Artprice’s share price consolidating around 90 euros. Naturally, I say this with all the usual reservations, disclaimers and
warnings that apply to such predictive declarations, particularly with respect to exogenous events.

Boursica:
You said recently that certain funds might be interested in Artprice. Can you tell us more?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Without transgressing the principle of confidentiality between the parties, our switch to the SRD Long Only segment means that many funds that are statutorily prohibited from taking positions in French companies on the SRD can now acquire lines in Artprice. These funds have a very different approach to the French funds and essentially approach valuation through the stock market comparison methodology. In our case, with our Standardized Auction and Fixed-Price Marketplace, Artprice is perceived as a major player in the Art Market on Internet. Logically therefore, we are compared with a number of different companies including Sotheby's which is the only publicly-traded auction company in the world. This vision of Artprice leads to a very different valuation of Artprice because they believe that our stock price does not at all represent the company’s true value.

Boursica:
Can you be more specific?

Thierry Ehrmann
In our first interview in June 2011, we gave you computing elements with specific examples of valuation methods that are more than 120 years old (N.B. 80% of the value of an Auction House is its client base – between $800 and $4000 per client – and the other 20% is its reputation if it is well known. Hence according to this method, the valuation essentially depends on correctly assessing whether a client is worth $800 or $4000, and this assessment is based on strata of information about the client). So for Artprice’s teams, myself and our shareholders, we are almost certainly at the start of a new adventure. I would say we are like a company that is preparing an IPO on the Nasdaq, with, as a significant advantage, the maturity and experience gained from 11 years of outstanding and irreproachable performance on a regulated market. It's very exciting and extremely motivating.

Boursica:
And your agreements in Asia… how is that dossier progressing?

Thierry Ehrmann:

In March 2012, we are starting a long campaign in China involving nearly 40 meetings with major Chinese auction houses with whom we share much in common, including the dematerialization of the art market, and they think like us, that the notion of physical auction houses is outdated in 2012 compared with the Internet and in particular our Standardized Auction Market Place which will have its own HQ in our future offices in Hong Kong.
Asia, which I have known well for 20 years, moves at a very different pace to the West. It takes much longer to gain the confidence of your future partner. A business man’s word is considered more important than a contract. But, at the same time, Asians are capable of setting up a business at speeds that would make most Westerners panic. I think that Artprice is well positioned in Asia where we are considered forward-thinking, far ahead of the old Anglo-Saxon auction houses that are seen by Asians as sometimes overtaken by events.

Boursica:
Since you mention the old Anglo-Saxon houses, what is your relationship with them now and especially since January 18, 2012?

Thierry Ehrmann:
The balance of power that was established in 2005 with the Standardized Fixed Price Marketplace Standardized has changed considerably. It seems that the two economies (physical and digital) have each conducted in-depth reflections on their future. It is true that the confrontation between the old economy and the digital economy in sectors other than the art market have advanced the debate. Once again, the die is cast, with nearly three billion Internet users compared with 50 million in 1999, hence my theory of the economic paradigm shift.

Boursica:

Can you tell us a little more about this paradigm shift?

Thierry Ehrmann:
The old economy has finally realized that our 25 years experience on the Internet as Group Server (which controls Artprice), of which I am the founder, cannot be acquired overnight and is very expensive to acquire in view of the sophistication levels of today’s Internet culture. In the art market sector, I recall anecdotally that the New York authorities issued recommendations to wealthy New Yorkers to avoid a number of locations, including auctions, due to the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations. That said, the big auction houses are gradually liquidating their real estate or prematurely terminating their leases. They have discovered that IT systems within secure Intranet networks, data mining, behavioral marketing, indexing, databases standardizing the art market… these are all heavy industrial tools with very high financial and technological barriers to entry,
and, sometimes, as in our case, under the protections of intellectual property that quite simply prohibit anyone from setting up Standardized Marketplaces® on the art market (without a license from us) since Artprice owns the different copyrights, including, amongst others, the sui generis rights.

Boursica:

So what should we conclude?

Thierry Ehrmann:
The first conclusion is that the old school has recognized the value of the tangible and intangible assets that constitute one of Artprice’s major treasures. The second point is that the big auction houses have all invested in the Internet, usually via two or three investment plans, systematically involving hundreds of millions of dollars, with generally unsatisfactory and sometimes disastrous results. The third point involves the recognition of a historical actor like Artprice and the ability to imagine, for the first time, a true sharing of the art market.

Boursica:
How would the Art Market be shared?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Very simply, the whole segment of works under €15,000 is foreign to them, and yet it accounts for a colossal proportion of the art market (81%). Between €15,000 and €50,000, they are not really competitive in price terms. This raises the issue of works of more than €50,000 and of course works in 7-figures which can be accompanied by tailored services for both the buyer and the seller. It doesn’t take long for these old auction houses to realize that their marketing benefits and seniority will not be enough to balance their projected budgets for the next five years. They therefore need to take a pragmatic approach by moving closer to us.

Of course, we respect them, but we cannot do anything other than refer to our Asian partners who have long anticipated the situation and therefore have no further problems to resolve. It is however quite possible that we will manage to find common ground because there is now a younger generation of senior management running these old houses who are not letting the ghosts of the past get in their way and are finally taking action.
I firmly believe that in 2012 our shareholders will have plenty of good and occasionally surprising news.

Boursica:
Can you tell us more?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Without revealing any secrets, we have key players who, with great maturity, have decided to progressively adopt us as a white or gray label. It is obvious that within these frameworks, the transfer of revenues from traditional companies that have been operating art auctions for many years, using our Standardized Auction Marketplace for their own account, is likely to have a significant impact on our share price.
Currently, this is the type of scenario we are experiencing on a regular basis: the CEO of a large international auction house retires and is replaced by a new CEO of 35 who, immediately after his audit, approaches us with a real desire to do big business, whereas his predecessor, close to retirement age, considered Artprice in the best of cases as nothing more than an art world UFO. Once again, patience has been an essential element in the success of Artprice since its inception.

Boursica:
In that sort of context, what then is your status?

Thierry Ehrmann:
In such cases, we work as an IT services house and central server and we charge recurring fees for hosting and for the use of our software and proprietary databases.

Boursica:
Finally, a last word. In our first interview, you said that Artprice was only at 10% of its development potential; then, in the second interview, you thought that 5% would be a more accurate estimate. How much would you say today?

Thierry Ehrmann:

We are still at 5% of Artprice’s development, but the big difference is that in 2011, that 5% was only an intuition, whereas now it is backed up by facts and figures, which changes everything for our shareholders and for us …

© 2002-2012 all rights reserved Boursica.com
Previous interviews of thierry Ehrmann, founder and CEO of Artprice.com:
– June 5, 2011
http://serveur.serveur.com/Press_Release/pressreleaseEN.htm#20110606
– October 9, 2011
http://serveur.serveur.com/Press_Release/pressreleaseEN.htm#20111010

Artprice is the global leader in databank on Artprices and indices with more than 27 million indices and auction results covering 450,000 artists. Artprice Images® offers unlimited access to the largest Art Market resource in the world, a library of 108 million images or engravings of artworks from 1700 to the present day along with comments by Artprice's art historians. Artprice permanently enriches its databanks with information from 4,500 international auction houses and auctioneers and publishes a constant flow of art market trends for the main news agencies and 6,300 international written media. For its 1.3 million members (member log in), Artprice posts standardized adverts in what is today the world's leading Standardised Marketplace® for buying and selling works of art by private contract or at auctions (regulated by French law alinéas 2 et 3 de
l'article L 321.3 du code du commerce).

Artprice is listed on Eurolist B by Euronext Paris (SRD long only) : Euroclear: 7478 – Bloomberg: PRC – Reuters: ARTF
Artprice releases:
http://serveur.serveur.com/press_release/pressreleaseen.htm

Discover the Alchemy and the universe of Artprice http://web.artprice.com/video/, which headquarters are the famous Museum of Contemporary Art, the Abode of Chaos

Follow all of the art market’s news with Artprice on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/artpricedotcom/

Kunstmarkt : exklusivinterview mit Thierry Ehrmann, Gründer und CEO von Artprice (7. März 2012)


Boursica:
Am 5. Juni und 9. Oktober haben wir mit Ihnen ausführlich gesprochen. Jetzt sind wir Anfang März 2012 und die Auktionen haben vor eineinhalb Monaten begonnen. Welche Erfahrungen haben Sie gesammelt?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Um dieses Gespräch gut zu verstehen, sollten Ihre Leser zuerst die beiden Interviews vom 5. Juni 2011 und vom 9. Oktober 2011 lesen, auf denen ich aufbaue. Nachdem wir also 16 Jahre lang gegen eines der ältesten Monopole der Welt gekämpft hatten, konnten wir am 18. Januar 2012 endlich mit den Auktionen beginnen. In Frankreich waren Kunstauktionen nämlich nach einem Edikt aus dem Jahr 1556 genehmigungspflichtig. Es ist uns jedoch schließlich gelungen, den freien Wettbewerb auf der Grundlage des Gesetzes vom 20. Juli 2011 durchzusetzen.

Boursica:
Sie sind also ein Auktionshaus geworden?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Nein, genau genommen sind wir über unseren standardisierten Auktionsmarktplatz® Online-Auktionsmakler gemäß § 5 des Gesetzes 2011-850 vom 20. Juli 2011 geworden.

Boursica:
Könnten Sie das etwas genauer erklären?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Artprice hält zahlreiche Patente im Rahmen des geistigen Eigentums (Schutzrechte, Software, Urheberrecht etc.) und kann so weltweit einzigartige Verfahren zur Standardisierung des Kunstmarkts einsetzen, mit denen wir über unseren standardisierten Marktplatz Angebot und Nachfrage in Echtzeit zu Festpreisen oder im Rahmen von Versteigerungen zusammenbringen. Wir haften nicht für die Auktion, da wir nicht an die Parteien (Käufer und Verkäufer) gebunden sind. Der Verkäufer wählt auf Grundlage seiner eigenen Kriterien das für ihn günstigste Angebot aus und zahlt uns 5 bis 9 Prozent Provision für die Nutzung unseres standardisierten Marktplatzes und unserer Kundendatei. Diese Datei ist derzeit die umfangreichste der Welt. Sie zählt 1,4 Millionen Mitglieder, von denen wir genau wissen, was sie suchen oder anbieten.

Boursica:
Sprechen wir über die letzten eineinhalb Monate. Was haben Sie in diesen sieben Wochen festgestellt?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Zuerst haben wir eine einzigartige Herausforderung angenommen. Am 18. Januar 2012 standen mehr als 5.000 Posten im Wert von über 810 Millionen Euro zum Verkauf. Die Preise reichten von einigen Hundert Euro bis hin in den zweistelligen Millionenbereich.
Um die ersten 45 Auktionstage besser zu beschreiben, muss ich zuerst erklären, wie die Transaktionen sich auf Artprice entwickelt haben. Der standardisierte Festpreis-Marktplatz ging am 18. Januar 2005 online. Er fand sofort großen Anklang. 2005 wurden Kunstwerke im Wert von 1,2 Milliarden Euro angeboten, 2006 waren es bereits mehr als 2,7 Milliarden Euro, 2007 3,6 Milliarden Euro, 2008 4,5 Milliarden Euro und 2009 5,4 Milliarden Euro. 2010/2011 stabilisierte das Angebot sich bei rund 6,3 Milliarden Euro. Etwa 30 Prozent der Angebote führten zu Abschlüssen, für die wir keine Provisionen erhielten. Die genauen Zahlen stehen im Referenzdokument, das auf ActusNews abgerufen werden kann, einer von der französischen Finanzmarktaufsicht AFM zugelassenen Website. 2012, als die Auktionen eingeführt wurden, reagierten die Kunstmarktteilnehmer sehr positiv. Die Versteigerungen fanden sofort großen Anklang. Der harte Kern rund um Drouot, das heißt die alte, unbelehrbare Garde, war jedoch äußerst negativ eingestellt und versuchte sich sogar mit Drohungen, was bis dahin in Europa undenkbar gewesen war.

Boursica:
Sprechen wir zuerst über die positive Reaktion und den Erfolg.

Thierry Ehrmann:
Eine Generation von Galeristen, Auktionshäusern, Kunsthändlern, Künstlern, Sammlern und Kunstliebhabern hat sehr schnell verstanden, dass nichts mehr so wie früher sein wird. Durch die zeitliche Begrenzung der Auktionen ist die Zahl der Transaktionen im Vergleich zum Festpreismarkt, wo die Zeit keine so wichtige Rolle spielt, in die Höhe geschnellt. In den folgenden Tagen konnten wir den Traffic gemessen an Bandbreite und Anmeldungen verfünffachen. Wir erhielten äußerst vielfältige Berichte und Beiträge. Artprice bietet mit ihrer Kundendatei, der umfangreichsten der Welt (1,4 Millionen Mitglieder), und Milliarden von Verhaltenslogs, die gemäß den europäischen und französischen Richtlinien gespeichert sind, einer ganzen Generation von Marktteilnehmern zwischen 25 und 50 Jahren die Möglichkeit, von zu Hause oder dem Büro aus in wenigen Sekunden mehrere Zehntausend potenzielle Käufer in Bezug auf bestimmte Künstler aus der ganzen Welt anzusprechen, auch noch kaum bekannte, und deren Werke anzubieten. Wir hatten einzigartige Diskussionen mit diesen Teilnehmern, die den Mut haben, ihre eigenen Vertriebsverfahren in Frage zu stellen.

Boursica:
Worum ging es in diesen Diskussionen?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Diese Akteure des Kunstmarkts stellen ihre gesamte Tätigkeit in Frage. Sie entdecken plötzlich, dass sie tatsächlich mehr Käufer ansprechen können als die größten Auktionshäuser und die berühmtesten Galeristen der Welt. Sie sind auf ihre eigenen Kundendateien beschränkt und müssen an kostspieligen internationalen Kunstmessen teilnehmen, um auf anderen Erdteilen Fuß zu fassen, während ihnen Artprice und der standardisierte Auktionsmarktplatz einen wirtschaftlichen Paradigmenwechsel ermöglicht, mit dem sie über das Internet alle fünf Kontinente erobern können.

Boursica:
Was verstehen Sie unter einem wirtschaftlichen Paradigmenwechsel?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Sie verstehen, dass ihr betriebswirtschaftliches Modell, d.h. hohe Margen und wenige Verkäufe, da sie keine große Kundendatei haben, nicht mehr tragbar ist. Einige erwägen, einen Teil ihrer Galerie oder eine Zweigstelle zu schließen, andere wiederum denken daran, die physischen Verkaufsräume aufzugeben. Sie entdecken, dass der weltweite Kunstmarkt, der in den Nachkriegsjahren 500.000 Sammler zählte und heute 450 Millionen „Kunstkonsumenten“ umfasst, ihnen endlich offen steht und sie in wenigen Minuten von zu Hause oder ihrem Büro aus auf ihn zugreifen können. So können sie ihre viel zu hohen Margen kürzen und ihren Umsatz in einem solchen Maß steigern, wie sie es sich wegen der mangelnden Ressourcen und fehlenden Internetkenntnisse nie erhofft hätten. In eineinhalb Monaten haben wir viele Hemmnisse und Schwierigkeiten abgebaut. Wenn wir die 14 Tage der Auktion, die Lieferung-Zahlung an einen vertrauenswürdigen Dritten (rund 14 Tage bei internationalen Überweisungen) und den Abschluss zwischen Käufer und Verkäufer, der für die endgültige Freigabe zuständig ist, berücksichtigen, dann gehen bei uns jetzt erst die Provisionen aus den ersten Auktionen 2012 ein. Wir werden sicher bald angenehme Überraschungen erleben, da seit der Eröffnung der Auktionen am 18. Januar 2012 immer mehr Versteigerungen auf dem standardisierten Marktplatz abgehalten werden.

Boursica:

Haben Sie Ihr Postulat mit dem der angelsächsischen Auktionshäuser verglichen?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Sie müssen unbedingt den ganzseitigen Artikel von Martine Robert in der französischen Tageszeitung Les Echos vom 3. März 2012 lesen, wo dem Jahresbericht von Artprice über den Kunstmarkt ein Gespräch mit dem Präsidenten von Christie’s gegenübergestellt wird, der abschließend bemerkt: „Die Zukunft des Middle Market zwischen 800 und 10.000 Euro liegt im Internet.“ Wer könnte es besser wissen als Christie’s?
Als Präsident von Artprice möchte ich unterstreichen, dass 81 Prozent der Transaktionen weltweit auf dieses Marktsegment entfallen. Sogar eine altehrwürdige Institution des Kunstmarkts ist demnach der Ansicht, dass 81 Prozent über das Internet laufen werden, d.h. über unseren standardisierten Marktplatz, da wir die unbestrittenen Marktführer auf diesem Gebiet sind.

Boursica:

Sie haben Hemmnisse und Schwierigkeiten erwähnt. Könnten Sie näher darauf eingehen?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Ein großes Problem war die vertrauenswürdige dritte Partei. Wir haben uns an den weltweit führenden Treuhänder „escrow.com“ gewandt.
Die Vorgangsweise des Unternehmens ist perfekt, leider akzeptiert es aber nur Zahlungen in US-Dollar, was vor allem für europäische Kunden ein beachtliches Hindernis darstellt. Wir haben also im Rahmen einer Ausschreibung nach einem zweiten vertrauenswürdigen Dritten gesucht und ihn auch in einer Rekordzeit gefunden. Transpact mit Sitz in England verwaltet seit Mitte Februar Zahlungen in US-Dollar, Euro und Britischen Pfund. Schließlich mussten wir noch die Verständigungsprobleme lösen.
Artprice ist in sechs Sprachen übersetzt, aber die Texte auf den Websites der Treuhänder sind ausschließlich auf Englisch verfasst. Da die auf dem Spiel stehenden Beträge sehr hoch sind, wollen unsere Kunden natürlich jede einzelne Etappe genau verstehen, sowohl die rechtlichen Aspekte als auch die praktischen Seiten. Sie wollen wissen, wie die Treuhandverwaltung und die Freigabe funktionieren.

Boursica:
Warum haben Sie nicht ganz einfach für jede Sprache einen vertrauenswürdigen Dritten gewählt?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Ich muss gestehen, dass zum Beispiel in Frankreich keine Bank und kein Finanzinstitut unseren Ansprüchen genügen konnte, obwohl die treuhänderisch verwalteten Beträge mit der Zeit steil steigen werden und das Konzept des vertrauenswürdigen Dritten in der digitalen Wirtschaft auch andere Branchen betrifft als Artprice und den Kunstmarkt. Das erklärt wohl auch den mangelnden Erfolg der Franzosen in der globalen digitalen Wirtschaft.

Boursica:
Gibt es eine Lösung? Warum machen Sie es nicht selbst?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Im Sinne des französischen Gesetzes vom 20. Juli 2011 über Online-Auktionen, vor allem § 5, der als § 321-3 im Handelsgesetzbuch (Absatz 2 und 3) übernommen wurde, muss der vertrauenswürdige Dritte, der den Betrag treuhänderisch verwaltet und die Ware freigibt, von Artprice völlig unabhängig sein, sowohl auf rechtlicher als auch auf finanzieller Ebene. Ich versichere Ihnen, dass wir unseren beiden Partnern gezeigt haben, wie viel Kunden, und es handelt sich um eine beeindruckende Zahl, auf der Website der vertrauenswürdigen Dritten aufgegeben haben, weil ihres Erachtens die Überweisung von hohen Beträgen in einer Fremdsprache, die sie nicht genau verstehen, bedeutende Risiken birgt. Als wir unseren Partnern gezeigt haben, wie hoch der Prozentsatz der abgebrochenen Transaktionen ist, waren sie sofort davon überzeugt, dass sie ihre Website und API in die Sprachen von Artprice (Französisch, Englisch, Deutsch, Italienisch, Spanisch und Chinesisch) übersetzen müssen.
Dieses Problem wird also schon im zweiten Quartal gelöst sein. Außerdem werden wir einen dritten Partner als vertrauenswürdigen Dritten in der Region Asien-Pazifik suchen.

Boursica:
Ist der Aufbau des standardisierten Marktplatzes jetzt abgeschlossen?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Ja, alles Wesentliche ist jetzt da. Aber bei Artprice sind wir daran gewöhnt, umfassende, synthetische Lastenhefte zu erstellen, die wenig personalintensiv sind. Dabei lassen wir gezielt Platz für verschiedene Erweiterungen, die uns von unserem Customer Service auf der Basis der Kundenwünsche aus aller Welt vorgeschlagen werden. Ein enormes IT-Entwicklungsprogramm mit einem monströsen Lastenheft, das den internationalen Kunden aufgezwungen wird, wäre völlig falsch. Die Franzosen versuchen gern den anderen ein Produkt aufzudrängen, das ihrem eigenen Geschmack entspricht. Artprice tut genau das Gegenteil. Wir sind der Ansicht, dass die Kunden und der Markt am besten wissen, was sie wollen. Nur sehr wenige französische Unternehmen haben sich für diesen Ansatz entschieden, obwohl er so einfach ist.

Boursica:
In einer Pressemeldung meinten Sie, das laufende Angebot würde den Prognosen für 2013 entsprechen. Ist das immer noch der Fall?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Wir rechnen mit 300 neuen Posten pro Tag, d.h. mit durchschnittlich 90.000 Posten pro Jahr. Gegenwärtig verzeichnen wir rund 500 bis 700 neue Posten pro Tag in einer sehr breiten Preisspanne. In einem bedeutenden Auktionshaus umfasst ein schöner Auktionskatalog nie mehr als 300 bis 350 Posten und wird zwei bis drei Monate lang vorbereitet, während Artprice im Durchschnitt 12 Stunden braucht. Das regt zum Nachdenken an.

Boursica:
Warum verlegen Sie den standardisierten Festpreismarktplatz nicht direkt zu den Auktionen? So würde Artprice sofort einen hohen Umsatz verbuchen.

Thierry Ehrmann:
Wir haben uns diese Frage auch gestellt und sie bei Artprice ausführlich diskutiert. Als Autor des seit 2005 bestehenden standardisierten Festpreismarktplatzes, der ein wahres Ökosystem ist, habe ich mich in Anbetracht der hohen Handelsvolumen für eine allmähliche Umstellung entschlossen. Wir wollen unsere treuen Kunden zu nichts zwingen und werden deshalb behutsam vorgehen.

Boursica:
Sie scheinen von Ihrem Postulat überzeugt zu sein. Könnten Sie es uns näher erklären?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Das ist einfach. Ich gehe davon aus, dass die meisten Verkäufer die Online-Auktionen wählen werden, da im Gegensatz zu Immobilien oder Fahrzeugen der Unterschied zwischen dem Festpreis und dem bei einer Versteigerung auf Artprice erzielten Preis bis zu 100 Prozent betragen kann, auch wenn der Verkäufer ein Profi ist. Aufgrund dieses Postulats meine ich, dass wir seit sieben Jahren in der ganzen Welt eine sehr bedeutende Anzahl von Verkäufern und Käufern in von uns entwickelten eigenen Datenbanken und Software halten. Jährlich werden Werke im Wert von rund 6,3 Milliarden Euro angeboten und Abschlüsse in Höhe von ca. 1,8 Milliarden Euro getätigt. Meines Erachtens wäre es unglaublich dumm, diese Marktteilnehmer, die eine starke Persönlichkeit haben und sich selbst eine Meinung bilden können, zu etwas zu zwingen. Jeden Tag steigen unsere Mitglieder von selbst auf Auktionen um und bestätigen damit, dass ich Recht habe.

Boursica:
Aber Ihre Aktionäre streben sofortige Ergebnisse an?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Wir mussten uns gedulden, bis Frankreich die europäische Richtlinie endlich in Landesrecht umsetzt. Ich weigere mich, jetzt das Spiel einer weniger Aktionäre zu spielen, die gern eine tägliche Offenlegungspflicht hätten und unseren Börsenkurs mit Lottozahlen verwechseln. Ich habe nichts gegen Lotto und schon gar nichts gegen die französische Lotto-Gesellschaft, die übrigens ein ausgezeichnetes Unternehmen ist, aber Spieler, die jeden Tag Gewinn einstreichen wollen, passen nicht zu den Aktionären von Artprice.

Boursica:
Was halten Ihre Stammaktionäre davon?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Alle unsere Stamm- bzw. Großaktionäre haben mehr Geduld als wir. Den Kunsthistorikern und Kunstmarktsoziologen zufolge erleben wir einen Wandel, der so tiefgreifend ist wie die Umstellung vom Parketthandel auf elektronische Systeme wie NASDAQ oder Instinet von Thomson Reuters. In dieser Hinsicht muss man der Zeit ihren Lauf lassen, schließlich besitzen wir ja dank der Patente im Bereich des geistigen und industriellen Eigentums ein Monopol bezüglich der Standardisierung des Kunstmarktes – Künstler ID, Werk ID, Werkverzeichnis ID, Schätzung/Ökonometrie ID (vgl. frühere Interviews von Boursica) -, ohne unsere marktbeherrschende Stellung zu missbrauchen. Seit 16 Jahren haben wir keine ernstzunehmenden Konkurrenten, die über ähnliche Rechte an geistigem Eigentum verfügen. Sollte entgegen aller Erwartungen eines Tages eine Nummer 2 auftauchen, dann gilt das schreckliche Gesetz der Online-Welt, in der ich seit 25 Jahren lebe, und das heißt: „Second place is the first loser.“

Boursica:
Gibt es eine Verbindung zur außerordentlichen Hauptversammlung vom 30. März 2012, die ursprünglich nicht vorgesehen war?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Ja. Die außerordentliche Hauptversammlung bezeugt den erfolgreichen betriebswirtschaftlichen Wandel, der nun Gewissheit geworden ist. In 16 Jahren sind wir der weltweit führende Anbieter von Informationen über den Kunstmarkt geworden und zählen heute 1,4 Millionen Abonnenten. Anfang 2012 sind wir davon überzeugt, dass unser Kerngeschäft, das uns eine optimale Rentabilität gewährleistet, der standardisierten Festpreis- und Auktionsmarktplatz ist. Aus diesem Grund passen wir unseren Unternehmenszweck der neuen Ausrichtung von Artprice an.

Boursica:
Einige unserer Leser erwarten eine Kapitalerhöhung anlässlich der außerordentlichen Hauptversammlung. Stimmt das? Waren Sie nicht dagegen?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Es handelt sich nicht um eine Kapitalerhöhung sondern um Stockoptionen. Sie sollen seltene, atypische Profile anziehen, die wir für den standardisierten Auktionsmarktplatz brauchen. Wir suchen in der Kunstwelt die Besten, da müssen wir auch etwas bieten können. Außerdem ist es logisch, dass wir die Mitarbeiter von Artprice für ihr außergewöhnliches Engagement belohnen wollen.
Was Kapitalerhöhungen betrifft, so kann ich nur wiederholen, was ich bereits erklärt habe: Ich bin gegen Kapitalerhöhungen, weil sie nicht nur das Kapital verwässern, sondern auch, und das wird oft vergessen, den Aktienkurs daran hindern, sehr schnell zu steigen. Im Gegensatz zu den übrigen börsennotierten Unternehmen haben wir keine Schulden, nicht einen Cent. Keinen Kontokorrentkredit, keine kurz-, mittel- oder langfristigen Kredite, keine Bankzusicherungen, keine Finanzinstrumente wie Aktienbezugsscheine und sonstige Derivate. Außerdem haben wir reichlich Barmittel und einen negativen Betriebskapitalbedarf.

Boursica:
Vor einigen Tagen haben Sie Ihren Kunstmarktbericht veröffentlicht. Wie kommt es, dass die französischen und ausländischen Medien und Institutionen Artprice nur im Zusammenhang mit dem Kunstmarkt erwähnen? Ist das Lobbying?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Nein, ich kann Sie beruhigen, es gibt nur eine Antwort auf Ihre Frage: die Geschichte von Artprice. Wir sind heute das einzige Unternehmen der Welt, das den Kunstmarkt in mehr als einer Million Arbeitsstunden standardisieren ließ. Kunsthistoriker, Wissenschaftler und Kunstjournalisten haben alle Werke aus den Manuskripten und Katalogen vom 17. Jahrhundert bis heute dokumentiert und beschrieben. Aus diesem Grund haben wir die weltweit umfangreichste Datenbank über den Kunstmarkt, mit der wir die Kunstwerke über die Jahrhunderte hinweg verfolgen können. Unsere Kunsthistoriker haben 108 Millionen Bilder und Stiche von Kunstwerken von 1700 bis heute kommentiert. Mit dieser Standardisierung und mehr als 4.500 Auktionshäusern, die mit unserem gesicherten Intranet verbunden sind, sind wir die einzige Presseagentur (Art Market Insight), die makroökonomische Daten, Notierungen und Repeat-Sales-Indizes sowie rund 100 Referenzindizes anbietet. Auf dieser Grundlage können jedes Jahr 6.300 Medien mit objektivem und ausführlichem Zahlenmaterial über den Kunstmarkt berichten.

Boursica:
Können Sie uns ein konkretes Beispiel geben?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Zum Beispiel China, wo wir die einzigen sind, die nicht nur die Sprachschranken überwinden sondern auch die Bräuche und Sitten meistern und diese schwierigen Informationen erhalten.

Boursica:
Die permanente Präsenz in den Medien hat sicher einen Preis?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Nein, im Gegenteil. Printmedien und Fernsehen sind vertraglich gezwungen, uns systematisch mit unserem Internet-Code abzufragen und unsere Methode zu kommentieren. So sparen wir jedes Jahr zwischen 16 und 18 Millionen Euro für die Werbung, die sicher nicht dieselbe Wirkung hätte. Nichts kann die von einer Presseagentur produzierten Inhalte ersetzen, die weitaus einflussreicher sind als es auch sehr gute Werbung jemals sein könnte. Untersuchungen zu bestimmten Märkten für Medien, Versicherungen oder Private Banking werden selbstverständlich von uns in Rechnung gestellt.

Boursica:
Aber Sie haben doch eine internationale Werbekampagne für den Start des standardisierten Auktionsmarktplatzes erwähnt?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Ja, als wir die Auktionen gestartet haben, wurde in den Medien ausführlich darüber berichtet, aber wir haben 2012 trotzdem eine gezielte Kampagne geplant. In jedem Land haben wir die beiden führenden Fachzeitschriften ausgewählt. Außerdem richten wir uns an Fernsehsender, die auf Kunst und Luxus spezialisiert sind. Die Kampagne hat Ende Januar 2012 begonnen und folgt dem Kalender des Kunstmarktes, der im Frühling einen Höhepunkt erreicht.

Boursica:
Kommen wir auf den eben veröffentlichten Kunstmarktbericht zurück. Er kann auf Ihrer Website abgerufen werden. Können Sie uns kurz erläutern, wie das Fazit des Berichts lautet?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Der Titel fasst den Tenor bereits zusammen: „Kunst hat noch nie so viel eingebracht wie 2011“. Weltweit wurde im letzten Jahr mit einem Erlös von 11,5 Milliarden US-Dollar ein neuer Rekord aufgestellt. Das bedeutet, dass der Primärmarkt, d.h. Galerien, Kunsthändler und Makler, rund 90 Milliarden US-Dollar erwirtschaftet haben, was dem Verhältnis des Primär- zum Sekundärmarkt entspricht. Der Anteil der nicht verkauften Werke war noch nie so niedrig. China überholt die USA mit 41 Prozent des weltweiten Kunsthandels. Asien wird mit 45 Prozent des Weltmarktes ein eigener Markt. Die chinesischen Künstler belegen Spitzenplätze, sowohl in unseren Top 10 als auch in den Top 500. Die westliche Ikone Pablo Picasso rutscht erstmals auf Platz vier ab. Frankreich fällt und fällt.
Die Anzahl der Millionenauktionen wächst stetig, insbesondere in Asien.

Boursica:
Ist der Kunstmarkt wie Gold ein sicherer Hafen für Anleger?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Ja, als die Weltwirtschaft und die Finanzwelt 2008 und 2011 zusammengebrochen sind, konnte der Kunstmarkt ausgezeichnete Ergebnisse einfahren. Private Banking-Experten und Vermögensberater empfehlen heute, übrigens auf Grundlage der ökonometrischen Instrumente von Artprice, die Anlagen in Krisenzeiten im Kunstmarkt zu diversifizieren. Sehen Sie sich die Entwicklung nach Preisklassen an, dann werden Sie verstehen, warum der Artprice Global Index sich besser verhält als der S&P 500 oder der Eurostoxx 50.

Boursica:
Wenn wir nun schon von Millionenauktionen sprechen, wann wird es auf Artprice die erste Millionenauktion geben, auf die alle warten?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Millionenauktionen auf Artprice sind angesichts unserer Verhandlungen mit den bedeutenden Akteuren des Kunstmarkts eine Gewissheit. Jetzt ist es nur noch eine Frage der Zeit. Ich könnte mir auch sehr gut vorstellen, dass ein Werk eines chinesischen Künstlers zu einem solchen Preis versteigert wird.

Boursica:
Kommen wir auf Frankreich zurück. Warum stürzt Frankreich immer tiefer ab?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Ich habe diese Frage oft beantwortet. In den Sechzigern stand Frankreich noch an der Spitze, seitdem verliert es leider ständig an Boden. Hier einige Zahlen: Auf zeitgenössische Kunst entfallen jährlich 13 Millionen Euro, was auf den Weltmarkt hochgerechnet gar nichts ist. New York und London erzielen mit schönen Katalogen an einem Tag, was Frankreich in einem Jahr schafft. Natürlich haben das 500-jährige Monopol der Auktionatoren und der klägliche Misserfolg der ersten Reform im Jahr 2000 dazu beigetragen, Frankreich an den Rand des Abgrunds zu drängen. Ich weiß, wovon ich spreche, schließlich habe ich 16 Jahre dagegen gekämpft und Dutzende von Prozessen angestrengt und letztendlich auch gewonnen.

Boursica:
Heute herrscht aber Frieden zwischen Artprice und den ehemaligen Monopolisten?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Auf wirtschaftlicher Ebene ist alles abgeschlossen, der Weg ist geebnet. Auf juristischer Ebene ist das letzte Wort noch nicht gefallen. Wir wollen nicht nachtragend sein, aber wir verlangen einen Ausgleich des von uns erlittenen wirtschaftlichen Schadens. Ferner fordern wir im Rahmen von Widerklagen die Wiedergutmachung einiger Anklagen, die abgewiesen wurden. Schließlich haben wir bei der französischen Wettbewerbsbehörde Anklage gegen französische Auktionshäuser wegen unzulässiger Wettbewerbsbeschränkung erhoben und verfolgen sie weiterhin strafrechtlich. Seit Ende Januar 2012 haben sich nämlich neue Elemente ergeben.

Boursica:
Wen haben Sie im Visier?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Wir haben eine kleine Anzahl Pariser Auktionatoren im Auge, in erster Linie bei Drouot, die sich durch Justizskandale und wiederholte Untersuchungen auszeichnen. Die zuständige französische Aufsichtsbehörde, der Conseil des Ventes Volontaires, veröffentlichte am 6. Januar 2012, einige Stunden nach dem Start unseres standardisierten Auktionsmarktplatzes, ohne uns schriftlich oder telefonisch oder sonst irgendwie benachrichtigt oder gewarnt zu haben, eine völlig surrealistische Pressemeldung. Dabei kennt sie uns gut, sowohl durch die Anhörungen als auch über die Daten, die wir ihr alljährlich für den Bericht über den Kunstmarkt liefern. Seit wann werden Klageschriften als Pressemeldung publik gemacht, ohne dass wir vorher auf dem Rechtsweg darüber informiert werden?
Ich finde die Aufgabe des Conseil des Ventes Volontaires wesentlich, aber er muss den Grundsatz des rechtlichen Gehörs berücksichtigen. Die Lage ist wie sie ist. Wir meinen, dass ein harter Kern von Auktionatoren, die Drouot nahestehen und sich über die Folgen des Gesetzes vom 20. Juli 2011, insbesondere § 5, den ich bereits erwähnt habe, ärgern, den Conseil des Ventes Volontaires absichtlich irregeführt hat. Dabei hat es die Aufsichtsbehörde in den letzten Jahren trotz der dürftigen Mittelausstattung gewagt, mutige Debatten über den unerbittlichen Niedergang des französischen Kunstmarkts zu führen. Wir erhielten brutale Drohungen von einigen wenigen Akteuren, die den Zusammenbruch ihrer Margen und Märkte nicht verkraften wollen. Meinem Scharfsinn und meiner lange Erfahrung zufolge sind solche Hassbezeugungen und Wutausbrüche der beste Beweis dafür, dass wir dort zugeschlagen haben, wo der Gewinn liegt, nämlich bei den 5 Prozent Nettoprovision auf Werke im Wert von mehr als 15.000 Euro und den 7 Prozent auf Werke in der Preisklasse von 7.500 bis 15.000 Euro.

Boursica:
Das Internet hat also den Kunstmarkt unter anderem mit Ihnen geschluckt?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Alles ist relativ. Seit 2000 sind bereits 4.500 Kunst-Websites untergegangen. Zudem sind beinahe alle Kunst-Websites von der Börse verschwunden, werden nun außerbörslich gehandelt und verzeichnen keine Umsätze. Wir haben Artprice mit weniger als 30 Millionen Internetnutzern gestartet. Heute zählen wir mehr als 2,7 Milliarden. Diese Zahlen werden weiter steigen. Die Erklärung des Präsidenten von Christie’s über Kunstwerke und Internet ist für uns der beste Beweis dafür.

Boursica:
Besitzt das Internet noch ein Wachstumspotenzial?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Wir haben erst 30 Prozent des Wachstums im Internet ausgeschöpft. Der herkömmliche Kunstmarkt ist erst zu 15 Prozent entmaterialisiert. Das mobile Internet ist ideal für Artprice, weil unsere Kunden immer unterwegs sind und ständig Informationen benötigen: Sachverständige, Versicherungsvertreter, Galeristen, Auktionatoren, Zollbeamte und natürlich auch Sammler und Kunstliebhaber, die in einer Galerie oder einem Auktionshaus etwas kaufen wollen.
80 Prozent der Anfragen an Artprice werden wohl auf das mobile Internet entfallen. Wir haben schon mehr als 30 Prozent erreicht. Alle großen Marktforschungsunternehmen prognostizieren, dass 2012, gemessen am Smartphoneabsatz, die Zahl der mobilen Internetnutzer um 550 bis 700 Millionen steigen wird. 2015 werden mehr als 3,5 Milliarden mobile Internetsurfer Artprice nutzen können.

Boursica:
Was bedeutet es, dass der herkömmliche Kunstmarkt erst zu 15 Prozent entmaterialisiert ist?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Das bedeutet, dass die Entmaterialisierung des herkömmlichen Kunstmarkts erst begonnen hat.
Ich zitiere gern meinen alten Meister Pythagoras, den ersten Philosophen, für den alles Zahlen war, mit Ausnahme der nicht quantifizierbaren, unaussprechlichen menschlichen Gefühle, die sich nicht erfassen lassen. Aus diesem Grund können über die Anzahl der Internetnutzer hinaus alle Handelsgeschäfte entmaterialisiert werden. Artprice und der Kunstmarkt sind ein ausgezeichnetes Beispiel dafür. Die Herausforderung, die die Welt meistern muss, besteht aus der Entmaterialisierung und der nachhaltigen Entwicklung. Nur die Entmaterialisierung kann die Energiekrise lösen.

Boursica:
Wie gehen Sie bei solchen Zahlen auf der technischen Ebene vor?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Wir arbeiten über Serveur, unsere Muttergesellschaft, die Time Magazine seit 1987 zu den Pionieren im Internet zählt, seit den Neunzigern unter Berücksichtigung der EU-Richtlinien und der Vorschriften des französischen CNIL am Data-Mining. Jetzt beschäftigen wir uns mit dem Big-Data-Konzept und Speichereinheiten, die in Petabyte gemessen werden. Die Daten werden in Echtzeit produziert, kommen aus allen Ländern in kontinuierlichen Datenströmen, werden mit heterogenen Metatags versehen und stammen aus den unterschiedlichsten destrukturierten und nicht prädikativen Quellen.

Boursica:
Wodurch unterscheiden sich Big-Data und Data-Mining? Ist das nicht dasselbe?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Nein. Ich werde Ihnen erklären, warum. Data-Mining besteht darin, Daten mit hohem Mehrwert der Datenbanken der Unternehmensgruppe zu vergleichen, um qualitative Daten zu schaffen. Big-Data bezieht sich auf das Data-Mining in kleineren Mengen. Unter Einhaltung der Datenschutzvorschriften werden Milliarden von Daten (Logs), die bislang als nicht wesentlich galten, gesammelt. Ziel ist es dabei, neue Muster zu erkennen. Seit die Kosten für ein Petabyte (1000 Terabyte) dramatisch gesunken sind, haben wir erkannt, wie diese an und für sich weniger qualitativen und als unwesentlich betrachteten Daten im Data-Mining ausgewertet werden können. Jetzt können wir komplexe, momentane Phänomene verstehen und sehr schnell Produkte und Dienstleistungen anbieten, die den Erwartungen unserer Nutzer genau entsprechen. Und mit Nutzern meine ich Millionen von Menschen, die unsere Website kostenlos oder kostenpflichtig nutzen.

Boursica:
Zu welchen Anwendungen kann Big-Data führen?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Wir konnten zum Beispiel seit der Eröffnung des standardisierten Auktionsmarktplatzes am 18. Januar 2012 nicht nur die beeindruckende Zahl der Besucher auf Artprice messen, sondern aufgrund der Analyse von Hunderten Millionen Logs auch verstehen, warum die neuen Kunden erst seit der Einführung der Auktionen die Website besuchen. Ferner können wir, wie ich es bereits eingangs erwähnt habe, in dem Traffic, der sich beinahe verfünffacht hat, die neuen und potenziellen Kunden analysieren, die sich anscheinend nur für Auktionen interessieren, die jedoch in Wirklichkeit zwischen den Auktionen und den kostenlosen Daten, deren Wert sehr beschränkt ist, in unseren kostenpflichtigen Datenbanken zu den Notierungen, Indizes und Biografien hin- und herpendeln, ohne mehr als 50 Euro auszugeben.
Mit Big-Data können wir maßgeschneiderte Lösungen anbieten, die berücksichtigen, dass 70 Prozent der neuen oder potenziellen Kunden sich über das mobile Internet einloggen. Auf der Grundlage des Anteils der kostenpflichtigen Daten, die sie abrufen, kommen wir auf ein Profil, das rund 36 Euro pro Jahr oder 3 Euro pro Monat ausgibt. Unserer Zielgruppe wird jetzt nicht mehr in Millionen Nutzern gemessen, wie es heute üblich ist, sondern in Dutzenden von Millionen Kunstkonsumenten, die mit iPhones oder Smartphones unter Android von Google ausgestattet sind.

Boursica:
Und wo sind die Künstler geblieben?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Auch hier erkennen wir mit Big Data, dass es neben unserer biografischen Datenbank, die 1,8 Millionen Künstler umfasst, von denen 450.000 an Versteigerungen teilnehmen, es eine knappe Million Künstler gibt, die von der Idee begeistert sind, ihre Werke auf dem standardisierten Auktionsmarktplatz anzubieten, die ihre Biografien online gestellt haben, die ihre Werke jedoch, um unabhängig zu bleiben, weder über Galerien noch über Auktionshäuser verkaufen. Dieses Potenzial ist bedeutend. Da der Preis dieser Werke oft unter 7.500 Euro liegt, berechnen wir nur 9 Prozent Provision und Gebühren.

Boursica:
Wie steht es um ihr soziales Netzwerk Artprice Insider?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Dieses soziale Netzwerk, das mit Soziologen und Netzwerkexperten aufgebaut wird, ist das Gegenteil von Facebook, das heißt, dass die Mitglieder von Artprice unter ihrem wahren Namen auftreten. Artprice Insider wird an den standarisierten Festpreis- und an den Auktionsmarktplatz gekoppelt. Die Ergebnisse der ersten Tests waren ausgezeichnet und der Ideenaustausch war qualitativ sehr gut, im Gegensatz zu manchen sozialen Netzwerken, auf denen vorwiegend Banalitäten ausgetauscht werden. Wir feilen seit 18 Monaten an Verbesserungen, weil ein solches Netzwerk eine wahre Bombe in der sonst so diskreten Kunstwelt ist. Deshalb dürfen wir uns keine Fehler erlauben.

Boursica:
Das Netzwerk ist also Kunstkennern vorbehalten?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Nein, das stimmt nicht ganz. Ich würde eher sagen, dass das Netzwerk einem Think Tank oder einer Brain Box ähnelt. Artprice Insider muss sich durch originelle Ideen, Expertentum und Fachkenntnisse auszeichnen, die Debatte um den Kunstmarkt weiterbringen und zur Entwicklung neuer Konzepte beitragen. Alles, aber auch wirklich alles muss neu erfunden werden, da der Kunstmarkt bis zur Entstehung des Internets in einem tiefen Schlaf versunken war. Und hier noch ein Scoop: Einige Akteure, die zu den Top 100 der Market Maker des Kunstmarkts gehören, haben zugesagt, live in unserem Netzwerk aufzutreten.

Boursica:
Wie finden Sie eigentlich noch die Zeit, eine Retrospektive ihres Werks als bildender Künstler über die letzten 30 Jahre vorzubereiten, die im Juni 2012 im Demeure du Chaos, der Hauptverwaltung von Artprice und gleichzeitig Museum für zeitgenössische Kunst, stattfinden soll?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Ich bereite diese Retrospektive seit 18 Monaten vor. Im Juni 2012 bin ich seit 30 Jahren als bildender Künstler tätig. Für dieses Ereignis habe ich in den letzten 18 Monaten 450 Stahlskulpturen geschaffen, die den Besucher zu einem Parcours auf dem Gelände einladen. Dort entdecken sie die 3609 Werke, die den Korpus des Demeure du Chaos bilden. Die New York Times nannte diesen Wohnsitz des Chaos auch Abode of Chaos.
Die europaweit größte Bildhauerinstallation besteht aus 900 Tonnen Stahl, die von Schmieden mit Hochpräzisionslasern bearbeitet wurden. Diese Ausstellung erlaubt mir wieder einmal, die Künstler und Akteure des Kunstmarkts genau zu analysieren. Man kann nicht Artprice aufbauen, ohne gleichzeitig völlig in der Kunst versunken zu sein. Zu den 120.000 Besuchern pro Jahr gehören viele Aktionäre und Kunden, mit denen ich am Wochenende außerhalb des Büros über Artprice diskutieren kann. Ich kann also sagen, dass ich eine 63-Stunden-Woche habe. Diese Entscheidung, die ich bewusst getroffen habe, kann vieles erklären, was manche Menschen nicht richtig verstehen.

Boursica:
Was sagen Sie zu ihrem Börsenkurs 2011? Was erwarten Sie 2012?

Thierry Ehrmann:
In Europa konnten wenige börsennotierte Unternehmen die Entwicklung ihres Aktienkurses so gut voraussagen wie wir. Artprice verzeichnete die beste Kursentwicklung an der Börse. Unser Titel stieg 2011 um 472 Prozent. Vom 1. Januar bis zum 31. Dezember 2011 wurde ein Aktienvolumen im Wert von 873 Millionen umgesetzt. Außerdem notieren wir nun bei 67 Euro, was ich ebenfalls prognostiziert habe. In den letzten zwölf Monaten stieg der Kurs um 476 Prozent und wurden Titel im Wert von 1,25 Milliarden Euro gehandelt. Jetzt sind wir im Segment B von Eurolist und seit einigen Tagen auch auf der SRD Long Only Liste. Wenn wir dann auch noch die Auktionen berücksichtigen, so sollte der Kurs sich 2012 bei 90 Euro konsolidieren, vorausgesetzt natürlich, dass die Entwicklung nicht von Ereignissen gebremst wird, auf die wir keinen Einfluss haben.

Boursica: Sie haben kürzlich Investmentfonds erwähnt, die sich für Artprice interessieren. Um welche Fonds handelt es sich?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Ich kann hier nicht über vertrauliche Daten sprechen, aber unsere Aufnahme in die SRD Long Only Liste hat dazu geführt, dass viele Investmentfonds, die nur in französische Unternehmen auf der SRD Long Only Liste investieren dürfen, sich jetzt an uns beteiligen können. Sie haben einen anderen Ansatz als die Franzosen und vergleichen uns unter anderen mit Sotheby’s, dem einzigen börsennotierten Auktionshaus der Welt. Diese Anleger sehen Artprice und den standardisierten Festpreis- und Auktionsmarktplatz als Hauptakteur des Kunstmarkts im Internet und bewerten uns aus diesem Grund anders, da sie meinen, dass unser Kurs nicht unseren wahren Wert widerspiegelt.

Boursica: Könnten Sie näher darauf eingehen?

Thierry Ehrmann:
In unserem ersten Gespräch im Juni 2011 haben wir konkrete Beispiele für die einzelnen Bewertungsmethoden gegeben, die schon mehr als 120 Jahre alt sind. Der Wert eines Auktionshauses besteht zu 80 Prozent aus der Kundendatei, d.h. 800 bis 4.000 US-Dollar je Kunde, und zu 20 Prozent aus dem Markennamen des Auktionshauses, wenn es bekannt ist. Der Unterschied zwischen einem 800 US-Dollar-Kunden und einem 4.000 US-Dollar-Kunden besteht aus der Informationsdichte über den Endkunden, auf deren Grundlage dann der Preis ermittelt wird. Für die Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter von Artprice, für mich und für unsere Aktionäre beginnt jetzt wohl eine neue Ära. Wir sind sozusagen wie ein Unternehmen, das seinen Börsengang am Nasdaq plant und noch dazu über elf Jahre Erfahrung an der Börse verfügt. Das ist unheimlich spannend und sehr motivierend.

Boursica:
Und wie steht es mit den Abkommen in Asien?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Im März 2012 beginnen wir in China Verhandlungen mit den wichtigsten chinesischen Auktionshäusern. Wir haben rund 40 Termine. Wir teilen viele Ideen, so zum Beispiel über die Entmaterialisierung des Kunstmarkts. Auch die Chinesen sind der Ansicht, dass physische Auktionsräume 2012 vor dem Hintergrund von Internet und unserem standardisierten Auktionsmarktplatz, der in Hongkong über einen eigenen Standort verfügen wird, nicht mehr gefragt sind.
In Asien, das ich seit 20 Jahren kenne, laufen Verhandlungen ganz anders als in Europa. Es braucht sehr lang, das Vertrauen des künftigen Geschäftspartners zu gewinnen. Versprechen sind wichtiger als das Vertragsrecht. Im Gegenteil dazu kann ein Geschäft so schnell abgeschlossen werden, dass Europäer oft in Panik geraten. Meiner Meinung nach ist Artprice in Asien sehr gut aufgestellt. Wir werden als Vorreiter betrachtet und haben den in Asien oft als unzeitgemäß geltenden angelsächsischen Häusern gegenüber einen beachtlichen Vorsprung.

Boursica:
Sie haben eben die altehrwürdigen angelsächsischen Auktionshäuser erwähnt. Welche Beziehungen haben Sie zu ihnen, insbesondere seit dem 18. Januar 2012?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Das Kräfteverhältnis, das 2005 durch den standardisierten Festpreismarktplatz entstand, hat sich geändert. Beide Seiten haben sich Fragen in Bezug auf ihre Zukunft gestellt. In anderen Branchen als dem Kunstmarkt hat die Gegenüberstellung Old Economy / New Economy zu Fortschritten geführt. 1999 zählten wir 50 Millionen Nutzer, heute sind es knapp 3 Milliarden, das sind harte Fakten, auf die ich meine Theorie des wirtschaftlichen Paradigmenwechsels stütze.

Boursica:
Könnten Sie uns näher erklären, um welche Fortschritte es sich dreht?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Die Old Economy hat endlich verstanden, dass eine 25-jährige Präsenz im Internet, wie die der Firma Serveur, der Artprice gehört und die ich gegründet habe, eine Raumzeit ist. Diese Raumzeit ist nicht nur inkompressibel, sondern wegen der hochkomplexen Internetkultur auch beinahe unerschwinglich. Für den Kunstmarkt ist eine Anekdote aus der „Occupy Wall Street“-Bewegung sehr aufschlussreich. So wurde vermögenden Personen empfohlen, bestimmt Ort zu meiden, allen voran die Auktionshäuser. Die meisten Auktionshäuser verkaufen aber ohnehin schon ihre Immobilien oder kündigen ihre Pachtverträge. Sie entdecken, dass gesicherte IT-Netzwerke, Data-Mining, Verhaltensmarketing, Indizierung und den Kunstmarkt standardisierende Datenbanken bedeutende Ressourcen voraussetzen. Die finanziellen und technologischen Schwellen sind sehr hoch. Zudem gibt es manchmal, so wie in unserem Fall, Rechte zum Schutz des geistigen Eigentums, das heißt, sie dürfen keine patentierten standardisierten Marktplätze® erstellen, deren Urheberrechte bei Artprice liegen.

Boursica:
Was folgern Sie daraus?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Erstens hat die Gegenpartei den Wert der Sachanlagen und immateriellen Werte verstanden, die das Vermögen von Artprice bilden. Zweitens haben alle bedeutenden Auktionshäuser in Internet investiert, meistens im Rahmen von zwei oder drei Investitionsplänen. Jedes Mal wurden zweistellige Millionenbeträge investiert, aber das Ergebnis war nie zufriedenstellend und manchmal sogar katastrophal. Drittens wurde ein langjähriger Akteur wie Artprice anerkannt und erstmals eine Aufteilung des Kunstmarkts ernsthaft erwogen.

Boursica:
Wie wird der Kunstmarkt aufgeteilt?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Ganz einfach. Das Segment der Werke unter 15.000 Euro entgleitet ihnen, dabei ist das ein sehr großer Teil, auf ihn entfallen immerhin 81 Prozent. Zwischen 15.000 und 50.000 Euro sind sie preislich nicht wirklich wettbewerbsfähig. Jetzt stellt sich die Frage der Werke im Wert von mehr als 50.000 Euro und natürlich auch der Millionen-Euro-Werke, die manchmal von maßgeschneiderten Dienstleistungen für Käufer und Verkäufer begleitet werden. Die traditionsreichen Auktionshäuser erkennen sehr schnell, dass ihr Alter und ihre Marketingvorteile nicht ausreichen, um in den kommenden fünf Jahren ausgewogene Ergebnisse zu erzielen. Es bleibt ihnen nichts anderes übrig, als mit uns zusammenzuarbeiten.
Wir respektieren ihren Ansatz, aber wir vergleichen sie doch mit unseren asiatischen Partnern, die sich seit langer Zeit auf diese Situation vorbereitet haben und heute keine Probleme mehr lösen müssen. Es ist aber ohne weiteres möglich, dass wir uns doch noch mit ihnen verständigen. Die neue Managergeneration an der Spitze der traditionsreichen Häuser hat keine Angst vor den Gespenstern der Vergangenheit und sieht tatendurstig in die Zukunft.
2012 werden unsere Aktionäre sicher einige positive Überraschungen erleben.

Boursica:
Woran denken Sie dabei?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Ohne Geschäftsgeheimnisse zu verraten kann ich nur andeuten, dass wir mit bedeutenden Akteuren über White-Label- oder CoBranding-Abkommen verhandeln. In diesem Rahmen kann der Umsatz der herkömmlichen Auktionshäuser, die seit vielen Jahren Auktionen durchführen und nun unseren standardisierten Auktionsmarktplatz auf eigene Rechnung nutzen wollen, unseren Börsenkurs beeinflussen.
Wir erleben gegenwärtig immer wieder dasselbe Szenario: Der Geschäftsführer eines bedeutenden internationalen Auktionshauses geht in den Ruhestand, ein junger 35-jähriger Manager tritt seine Nachfolge an, führt ein Audit durch und kommt sofort zu uns, um das große Geschäft zu landen, während sein viel älterer Vorgänger Artprice höchstens als UFO der Kunstwelt wahrgenommen hat, ohne weiter darüber nachzudenken. Geduld war schon immer eine der Grundvoraussetzungen für den Erfolg von Artprice.

Boursica:
Welche Rolle spielen Sie in diesem Rahmen?

Thierry Ehrmann:
In diesem Fall agieren wir als IT-Berater oder Server Center und stellen die Hosting- und Nutzungskosten unserer eigenen Software und Datenbanken in Rechnung.

Boursica:
Und nun noch eine abschließende Bemerkung. In unserem ersten Gespräch haben Sie behauptet, Artprice wäre bei 10 Prozent ihrer Geschichte angekommen, in unserem zweiten Gespräch meinten sie allerdings, es wären erst 5 Prozent. Wie viel Prozent sind es heute?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Wir sind immer noch bei 5 Prozent der Entwicklung, der große Unterschied liegt darin, dass die letztes Jahr erwähnten 5 Prozent einfach ein Schätzwert war, der heute von Fakten und Zahlen erhärtet wurde. Für uns und unsere Aktionäre ist das eine ausgezeichnete Nachricht.

© 2002-2012 Boursica.com alle Rechte vorbehalten

Die vorherigen Exklusivinterviews mit Thierry Ehrmann können Sie hier einsehen :
http://serveur.serveur.com/Press_Release/2011-interview-thierry-ehrmann.html

Artprice ist der Weltmarktführer für Kunstmarktinformationen und –indizes mit insgesamt mehr als 27 Millionen Auktionsergebnissen und Preisindizes von mehr als 450.000 Künstlern. Artprice Images© stellt Ihnen einen unbegrenzten Zugang zu einer weltweit einmaligen Bibliothek mit 108 Millionen Abbildungen und Drucken von Kunstwerken von 1700 bis heute. Artprice bereichert laufend seine Datenbanken mit Informationen von weltweit 4.500 Auktionshäusern und veröffentlicht kontinuierlich die Kunstmarkttendenzen für die wichtigsten Agenturen und 6.300 Pressetitel aus der ganzen Welt. Artprice stellt darüber hinaus einen der wichtigsten Kunstmarktplätze weltweit zum Kaufen und Verkaufen von Kunstwerken, dessen angebote unter den 1.400.000 Artprice Mitgliedern bekannt gemacht werden (Quelle Artprice)

Artprice ist geführt am Eurolist by Euronext Paris : Euroclear : 7478 – Bloomberg : PRC – Reuters : ARTF

Entdecken Sie die Alchimie und das Universum von Artprice , dessen Haupsitz sich im bekannten zeitgeössischen Museum, des Abode of Chaos befindet : http://web.artprice.com/video/

Zur Übersicht der Artprice Presseberichte:
http://serveur.serveur.com/press_release/pressreleaseen.htm

Verfolgen Sie in Echtzeit das Kunstmarktgeschehen :Artprice.com auf Twitter : http://twitter.com/artpricedotcom/

Kontact: Josette Mey, tel: +33(0)478-220-000, e-mail: ir@artprice.com

Artprice’s annual art market report 2011. Art sales at their best.

Paris, February 27 , 2012

Artprice’s annual art market report 2011. Art sales at their best.
While old economies are struggling, growth is accelerating in the BRICS countries. The five BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa- have been enjoying much stronger economic expansion than the developed countries and China’s growth in particular has profoundly modified the geographical structure of the global art market according to thierry Ehrmann, the founder and CEO of Artprice, the world leader in art market information. Moreover, in Singapore, Beijing and Hong Kong, politicians are aware of the enormous economic potential of art for their state or their city, and their governments strongly support major cultural events including Contemporary Art fairs. In addition to the 49% growth in auction revenue from artworks in China, a number of other Asian countries have also posted particularly dynamic growth, such as Singapore (+22%) and Indonesia (+39%).

This growth has been driven by the emergence of new and very wealthy collectors and a growing number of art investment funds. As a result, the Asian art market has become the most high-end area of the entire globe. For example, 12.1% of works sold in Asia sell for between $100,000 and $1m, versus 2.2% for the rest of the world. China, Asia’s leading economic power and world leader for sales of artworks, has surprised everyone not just by its acquisitive capacity but also by its independence. It accounts for the highest auction results (with 774 auction results above $1 million recorded in 2011 compared with 426 in the USA and 377 in the UK), mostly generated at auctions in Beijing and Hong Kong. Even if China were deprived of the strong Hong Kong sales of Christie’s and Sotheby’s, it would easily remain the first global marketplace!

In 2011, the global art auction market generated 21% more than in 2010 and there is not a single segment of the art market that did not progress in terms of turnover. Compared with 2010, Modern art added $1.2B, Post-war art added $372m, Contemporary art added $291m, Old Masters added $124 million and 19th century art posted an increase of $43 million. In addition, bulimic buying has not left any medium on the side-lines. 2011 saw the sale of more paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings and even prints than 2010. Indeed, driven by the rocketing prices of the Chinese Old and Modern masters, drawing has really come into its own, with its annual revenue up by $1.318 billion over the year.

This year, Artprice’s annual art market report – based on 6.3 million auction results from 4,500 auction houses around the world and distributed to over 6,300 media organisations and international institutions every year in 6 languages – will focus particularly on China’s successful conquest of the global art market. Our 2011 Art Market Trends contain macro- and micro-economic analyses providing the keys to understanding the annual evolution of the global auction market. It discusses the major trends in the market, analysed throughout the year on the ArtMarketInsight page of our website, by the Artprice press agency and by our Econometrics Department. To complement this objective appreciation of the art market based on a year of global auction results, Artprice also offers numerous original rankings such as the Top 500 artists by auction revenue and the Top 100 auction results of the year.

Download the complete PDF format document (Free download)

http://imgpublic.artprice.com/pdf/trends2011_en.pdf

  • Edito
  • A high-end market unaffected by the crisis
  • New record year
  • The powers at work
  • Modern art: the core of the market in 2011
  • The best of the Old Masters
    Contemporary art
  • Structural mutation: the art market in the Internet age
  • Top 10 Artists
  • 11 figures for 2011
  • Powerful art market columnists comment the year
  • 2011 from the AMCI’s viewpoint
  • 2011 in 140 characters – the year as seen by @artpricedotcom
  • Top 100 auction results in 2011
  • Top 500 artists by auction revenue in 2011

Source: http://www.artprice.com (c)1987-2012 thierry Ehrmann

Artprice is the global leader in databank on Artprices and indices with more than 27 million indices and auction results covering 450,000 artists. Artprice Images® offers unlimited access to the largest
Art Market resource in the world, a library of 108 million images or engravings of
artworks from 1700 to the present day along with comments by Artprice’s art historians. Artprice permanently enriches its databanks with information
from 4,500 international auction houses and auctioneers and publishes a constant flow of art market trends for the
main news agencies and 6,300 international written media. For its 1.3 million members (member log in), Artprice posts standardized adverts in what is today the world’s leading Standardised Marketplace® for buying and selling
works of art by private contract or at auctions -regulated by French law alinéas 2 et 3 de l’article L 321.3 du code du commerce- (source Artprice).

Discover the Alchemy and the universe of Artprice http://web.artprice.com/video/, which headquarters are the famous Museum of Contemporary Art, the Abode of Chaos

Artprice is listed on Eurolist B by Euronext Paris (SRD long only): Euroclear: 7478 – Bloomberg: PRC – Reuters:
ARTF

Artprice releases: http://serveur.serveur.com/press_release/pressreleaseen.htm

Follow all of the art market’s news with Artprice on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/artpricedotcom/

Artprice : le rapport annuel du Marché de l’Art 2011. L’art ne s’est jamais si bien vendu.

Paris, le 27 février 2012

Artprice : le rapport annuel du Marché de l’Art 2011. L’art ne s’est jamais si bien vendu.
Tandis que les vieilles économies souffrent, la croissance s’accélère du côté des BRICS. Les cinq membres des BRICS, Brésil, Russie, Inde, Chine et Afrique du Sud, ont bénéficié d’une croissance beaucoup plus forte que les pays développés et le formidable assaut chinois a profondément modifié la structure géographique du marché de l’art selon thierry Ehrmann, PDG et fondateur d’Artprice, leader mondial de l’information sur le marché de l’Art. De plus, à Singapour, Pékin et Hong Kong, les politiques ont conscience de l’énorme potentiel économique que représente l’art pour leur état ou pour leur ville et les gouvernements soutiennent fermement les grands évènements culturels, dont les salons d’art contemporain. Outre la croissance de 49 % du volume d’affaires pour la vente aux enchères d’œuvres d’art en Chine, d’autres pays asiatiques sont particulièrement dynamiques : c’est le cas de Singapour (+22 %) ou de l’Indonésie (+39 %) par exemple.

Cette croissance est portée par l’émergence de nouveaux collectionneurs richissimes et d’un nombre grandissant de fonds d’investissements en art. De fait, le marché asiatique est devenu le plus haut de gamme du monde. Par exemple, 12,1 % des œuvres vendues en Asie le sont entre 100 000 $ et 1 m$, contre 2,2 % dans le reste du monde dans cette gamme de prix. La Chine, première puissance asiatique et première puissance au monde pour la vente d’œuvres d’art est étonnante tant par sa force de frappe que par son indépendance. C’est là que les plus grosses enchères sont signées (avec 774 enchères millionnaires enregistrées en 2011 en Chine contre 426 aux États-Unis ou 377 au Royaume-Uni), la plupart du temps dans des salles de ventes pékinoises ou hongkongaises. Même si la Chine se trouvait privée du dynamisme des ventes hongkongaises de Christie’s et Sotheby’s, elle demeurerait la première place de marché mondiale sans vaciller !

A l’issue de l’année 2011, la vente d’œuvres d’art a rapporté 21 % de plus qu’en 2010 à l’échelle mondiale et il n’est pas un secteur de la création qui ne progresse pas en terme de chiffre d’affaires. Par rapport à 2010, l’art moderne gagne 1,2 M$, l’art d’après-guerre 372 m$, l’art contemporain 291 m$, l’art ancien 124 m$ et les créations du XIXème siècle rapportent 43 m$ supplémentaires. De plus, la boulimie d’achat n’a relégué aucun médium à l’arrière-plan. Il s’est vendu plus de peintures, de sculptures, de photographies, de dessins et même d’estampes qu’en 2010. Porté par la cote explosive des maîtres anciens et modernes chinois, le dessin a d’ailleurs véritablement trouvé ses lettres de noblesse, avec un produit de ventes annuel en hausse de 1,318 M$ sur l’année.

Artprice publie en 6 langues son rapport exclusif du marché de l’art repris par plus de 6 300 médias et institutions internationaux chaque année. Réalisé à partir des 6,3 millions de résultats d’enchères de 4 500 maisons de ventes, le rapport annuel "Tendances du Marché de l’art 2011" est constitué de XX pages d’analyses macro-économiques et micro-économiques mises à jour au fil de l’actualité des ventes et des évolutions des prix des oeuvres d’art. Ce rapport édité par ArtMarketInsight, l’agence de presse d’Artprice, avec le département d’Econométrie d’Artprice contient aussi des classements originaux tels que le TOP 500 des artistes par chiffre d’affaires, la liste des 100 plus fortes enchères de l’année.

Télécharger l’intégralité du document au format PDF (Téléchargement gratuit)

http://imgpublic.artprice.com/pdf/trends2011_fr.pdf

  • Edito
  • Un marché haut de gamme hermétique à la crise
  • Nouvelle année record
  • Les forces en puissance
  • L’art moderne : pivot du marché
  • Le meilleur de l’art ancien
  • Art contemporain
  • Mutation structurelle : le marché à l’heure d’Internet
  • Top 10 Artistes
  • 11 chiffres pour 2011
  • Les grandes plumes mondiales du marché de l’art
  • L’année de l’Art Market Confidence Index
  • 2011 en 140 Caractères – l’année vu part @artpricedotcom
  • Le Top 10 des artistes
  • Le Top 100 des enchères 2011
  • Le Top 500 des artistes par chiffre d’affaires en 2011

Source: http://www.artprice.com ©1987-2012 thierry Ehrmann

Artprice est le leader mondial des banques de données sur la cotation et les indices de l’Art avec plus de 27 millions d’indices et résultats de ventes couvrant 450 000 Artistes. Artprice Images(R) permet un accès illimité au plus grand fonds du Marché de l’Art au monde, bibliothèque constituée de 108 millions d’images ou gravures d’œuvres d’Art de 1700 à nos jours commentées par ses historiens. Artprice enrichit en permanence ses banques de données en provenance de 4 500 Maisons de ventes et publie en continu les tendances du Marché de l’Art pour les principales agences et 6 300 titres de presse dans le monde. Artprice diffuse auprès de ses 1 300 000 membres (member log in), ses annonces, qui constituent désormais la première Place de Marché Normalisée® mondiale pour acheter et vendre des oeuvres d’Art à prix fixes ou aux enchères (réglementée par les alinéas 2 et 3 de l’article L 321.3 du code du commerce). Source Artprice

Artprice est cotée sur Eurolist by Euronext Paris au compartiment B, SRD long only : Euroclear : 7478 – Bloomberg : PRC – Reuters : ARTF

Découvrir l’alchimie et l’univers d’Artprice http://web.artprice.com/video/ dont le siège social est le célèbre Musée d’art contemporain Abode of Chaos.

Sommaire des communiqués d’Artprice :
http://serveur.serveur.com/press_release/pressreleasefr.htm

Suivez en temps réel toute l’actualité du marché de l’art :
Artprice.com sur Twitter : http://twitter.com/artpricedotcom/

Artprice refutes any emergency injunction from France’s auction market supervisor, the Conseil des Ventes Volontaires (CVV)

Artprice refutes any emergency injunction from France’s auction market supervisor, the Conseil des Ventes Volontaires (CVV)

Contrary to the CVV’s press release dated 6 January 2012 informing journalists that it was seeking an emergency injunction against Artprice, the company Artprice wishes to declare that no such procedure has been launched. To this day, Artprice has not received notification of any legal proceedings whatsoever regarding the forthcoming launch of its online brokerage service.

In fact, Artprice wishes to formally denounce the various erroneous interpretations that have resulted from that press release. As indicated by Artprice within hours of the CVV’s press release, courteous exchanges have taken place between Artprice and the CVV in the form of official letters. Artprice confirms that the contents of its response to the CVV’s press release of 6 January 2012 correspond perfectly to the calm and constructive discussions it has been engaged in with the CVV in recent days, and Artprice officially confirms the opening of its new online auction brokerage service conducted remotely via Internet (as described in paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article L321-3 of the French Code of Commerce) on 18 January 2012.

In the framework of its regulatory disclosures and in order to eliminate any misunderstanding, Artprice is re-posting (below) the press release it officially communicated on 6 January 2012, every point of which Artprice reiterates and confirms:

Artprice’s reply to the Conseil des Ventes Volontaires (French auction market supervisor)

Artprice discovered, first via the media and then via an email received from the Conseil des Ventes Volontaires, the latter’s request that Artprice should clearly and unequivocally indicate to the public its quality as an electronic auction broker « d’opérateur de courtage aux enchères réalisées à distance par voie électronique (in accordance with Article 5 of French Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011) ». Considering our long, constructive and peaceful relations with the French auction market supervisory authority (Conseil des Ventes Volontaires), we believe that its reaction to the forthcoming launch of our online auction brokerage activity (18 January) is based on a misunderstanding that will be cleared up once it has examined our documentation and particularly the preventative measures we have taken to avoid confusion in this respect.

In the first instance, Artprice invites the financial markets, its shareholders, its1.3 million members and of course the Conseil des Ventes Volontaires to consult the financial documentation and press releases that Artprice has submitted to Actusnews, a special financial information website certified by the AMF (French Financial Markets Authority), and particularly the press release dated 1 January 2012 in which Artprice states in the very first line, without any shadow of ambiguity, that its new online activity is indeed an online auction brokerage activity (« opérateur de courtage aux enchères réalisées à distance par voie électronique in accordance with Article 5 of French Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011”).

In fact, in order to avoid any confusion between the different legal statuses and activities covered by Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011, Artprice has commissioned a court-appointed attorney to take all necessary steps to highlight the precautionary measures taken by Artprice via its regulated disclosures, the presentation on its website of its new activity, the General Conditions of Use published thereon and various other communication media, in order to avoid any confusion between Artprice’s activity (auction brokerage) and that of public auction sales.

Moreover, Artprice has taken the precautionary measure of translating into all the languages used by its website the key information concerning its new service and it has deliberately avoided translating the references to its legal status under Article 5 of the Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011 precisely in order to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation that could arise from an inappropriate translation of Artprice’s status under Article 5 of French Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011 vis-à-vis the other legal statuses that govern public auction sales.

In conclusion, Thierry Ehrmann, CEO and founder of Artprice, declares that he is perfectly satisfied with the measures taken by Artprice and that Artprice will commence its online auction brokerage activity (opérateur de courtage aux enchères réalisées à distance par voie électronique) on 18 January 2012 in accordance with Article 5 of French Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011) and that the public will be able, as of Monday 9 January, to preview several thousand items advertised for sale at a broad range of prices, ranging from collectibles to museum-quality artworks. In total, Artprice has received ads representing roughly 700 million dollars in starting prices. As regards any legal discussions with the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris (Paris District Court), Artprice and its CEO believes that its will provide, through its lawyers Emmanuel Pierrat and Thierry Dumoulin, all the necessary elements to satisfy the parties concerned and to resolve the problem by eliminating any possible form of ambiguity.

It is clear that after nearly 500 years of monopolistic functioning, the auction market’s ambitious reform of 20 July 2011 (imposed by the European Directive Services) is bound to unsettle certain players in the market who are unaccustomed to free competitions environments.

Artprice cannot avoid the observation that having posted the best performance on the regulated French stock market (+ 472% since 1 January 2011) with a total volume of shares worth 873 million euros and a sliding annual progression of no less than 593% and 144 million euros of shares traded since 1 January 2012, it is naturally an object of envy and an attractive acquisition target for the historical players in the auction market who for reasons of conservatism have missed the train of History and of the Internet.

Source: http://www.artprice.com (c)1987-2012 thierry Ehrmann

Artprice is the global leader in databank on Art prices and indices with more than 27 million indices and auction results covering 450,000 Artists. Artprice Images(R) gives unlimited access to the largest Art Market resource in the world, a library of 108 million images or engravings of artworks from 1700 to the present day along with comments by Artprice’s art historians. Artprice permanently enriches its databanks with information from 3,600 auctioneers and publishes a constant flow of art market trends for the main news agencies and 6,300 international written media. For its 1.3 million members (member log in), Artprice posts standardized adverts in what is today the world’s leading Standardised Marketplace® for buying and selling works of Art (source Artprice).

Artprice is listed on Eurolist by Euronext Paris: Euroclear: 7478 – Bloomberg : PRC – Reuters: ARTF

List of Artprice press releases:
http://serveur.serveur.com/press_release/pressreleaseen.htm

Discover alchemy and Artprice’s universe on http://web.artprice.com/video/

Follow all of the art market’s news with Artprice on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/artpricedotcom/

Contact: email: ir@artprice.com

Artprice dément l’assignation en référé par le Conseil des Ventes Volontaires


Artprice dément l’assignation en référé par le Conseil des Ventes Volontaires

Contrairement au communiqué de presse du 6 janvier 2012 émanant du Conseil des Ventes Volontaires qui informait les journalistes qu’une action judiciaire en référé était décidé à l’encontre d’Artprice, la société Artprice tient à démentir l’existence d’une telle procédure telle que décrite dans le communiqué de presse. Artprice est en mesure d’affirmer qu’il ne lui a jamais été signifié à ce jour le moindre acte judiciaire.

En effet, Artprice dénonce les multiples mauvaises interprétations naissant de ce communiqué de presse. Comme l’a indiqué Artprice dans les heures qui ont suivi le communiqué de presse du Conseil des Ventes Volontaires, des échanges courtois ont eu lieu entre Artprice et le Conseil des Ventes Volontaires par courriers officiels. Artprice est en mesure de confirmer que les termes de la réponse de son communiqué officiel du 6 janvier 2012 correspondent parfaitement au débat serein et constructif qu’elle a pu avoir ces derniers jours avec le Conseil des Ventes Volontaires et confirme officiellement l’ouverture de son nouveau service d’enchères en tant qu’opérateur de courtage aux enchères réalisées à distance par voie électronique, tel que définit par les alinéas 2 et 3 de l’article L321-3 du code du commerce, le 18 janvier 2012.

Dans le cadre de son information réglementée, Artprice, à des fins de bonne compréhension, vous invite à relire, ci-dessous, le communiqué qu’elle a officiellement diffusé le 6 janvier 2012 et dont elle réitère en tous points les termes :

Réponse d’Artprice au Conseil des Ventes Volontaires

Artprice a pris acte par voie de presse, puis par courrier électronique transmis par le Conseil des Ventes Volontaires, d’une demande de ce dernier de bien vouloir faire figurer de manière claire et non équivoque au grand public sa qualité « d’opérateur de courtage aux enchères réalisées à distance par voie électronique (article 5 de la loi n° 2011-850 du 20 juillet 2011) ». Artprice considère, compte tenu des longues relations constructives et paisibles qu’elle entretient avec le Conseil des Ventes Volontaires, qu’il ne peut s’agir que d’un quiproquo où l’apaisement, au regard des pièces dont dispose Artprice et issues de mesures conservatoires, sera immédiat.

En effet, Artprice renvoie les marchés financiers, ses actionnaires, ses 1.3 millions membres et, bien évidemment, le Conseil des Ventes Volontaires, à consulter l’ensemble de ses communiqués financiers déposés sur le site Actusnews, site homologué par l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers, et notamment le communiqué du 1er janvier 2012 où Artprice, dès la première ligne, fait état de manière explicite et sans l’ombre d’une ambiguïté de sa qualité de : « opérateur de courtage aux enchères réalisées à distance par voie électronique (article 5 de la loi n° 2011-850 du 20 juillet 2011) ».

De même, afin d’éviter toute forme de confusion entre les différents régimes et activités réglementés par la loi n° 2011-850 du 20 juillet 2011, Artprice a mandaté un Huissier de justice afin de prendre toutes mesures conservatoires démontrant toutes les précautions prises par Artprice, que ce soit au niveau de sa communication réglementée, au niveau de la présentation de sa nouvelle prestation sur son site, au niveau de ses conditions générales d’utilisations, au niveau de ses moyens de communication… pour qu’aucune confusion soit faite entre l’activité d’Artprice (opérateur de courtage aux enchères réalisées à distance par voie électronique) et celles relatives aux ventes aux enchères publiques.

Artprice a pris la précaution de traduire en toutes les langues disponibles sur son site l’essentiel des informations sur cette nouvelle prestation exception faite de son statut tel que définit par l’article 5 de la loi n° 2011-850 du 20 juillet 2011 afin qu’aucune confusion ou mauvaise traduction soit faite sur le statut d’Artprice tel que le prévoit l’article 5 de la loi n° 2011-850 du 20 juillet 2011 et les autres statuts qui eux régissent les ventes aux enchères publiques.

En conclusion, Thierry EHRMANN, P.D.G. d’Artprice, déclare qu’il est parfaitement serein, Artprice démarrera bien ses enchères en ligne le 18 janvier 2012 en sa qualité d’opérateur de courtage aux enchères réalisées à distance par voie électronique (article 5 de la loi n° 2011-850 du 20 juillet 2011) et que, bien évidemment, le grand public découvrira, dès le lundi 9 janvier, en pré-visualisation, plusieurs milliers de lots comportant une gamme de prix très large allant de l’objet de curiosité jusqu’à des pièces de qualité muséale. Cet ensemble représente environ 700 millions de mises à prix. Concernant le débat judiciaire devant le TGI de Paris, Artprice et son Président considèrent, d’ores et déjà, qu’ils amèneront, par le ministère de Me Emmanuel PIERRAT et Me Thierry DUMOULIN, tous les éléments nécessaires pour apaiser les parties concernées et rendre le débat serein en anéantissant toute forme d’ambiguïté possible.

Il est vrai qu’avec près de 500 ans de monopole, l’ambitieuse réforme des ventes aux enchères du 20 juillet 2011, imposée par le Directive Services européenne, est de nature à ébranler certains acteurs du marché qui ne sont pas encore coutumiers du jeu de la libre concurrence.

Artprice ne peut s’empêcher de constater, qu’après avoir été la meilleure performance boursière française sur le marché réglementé avec + 472 % depuis le 1er/01/11 avec un volume traité de 873 millions d’euros, et une progression sur une année mobile de 593 % avec 144 millions d’euros traités depuis le 1/01/12, qu’elle génère bien des convoitises de la part d’acteurs historiques qui, pour des raisons de conservatisme, ont laissé passé le train de l’Histoire et de l’Internet.

Source: http://www.artprice.com (c)1987-2012 thierry Ehrmann

Artprice est le leader mondial des banques de données sur la cotation et les indices de l’Art avec plus de 27 millions d’indices et résultats de ventes couvrant 450 000 Artistes. Artprice Images(R) permet un accès illimité au plus grand fonds du Marché de l’Art au monde, bibliothèque constituée de 108 millions d’images ou gravures d’oeuvres d’Art de 1700 à nos jours commentées par ses historiens. Artprice enrichit en permanence ses banques de données en provenance de 3 600 Maisons de ventes et publie en continu les tendances du Marché de l’Art pour les principales agences et 6300 titres de presse dans le monde. Artprice diffuse auprès de ses 1 300 000 membres (member log in), ses annonces, qui constituent désormais la première Place de Marché Normalisée® mondiale pour acheter et vendre des oeuvres d’Art (source Artprice).

Artprice est cotée sur Eurolist by Euronext Paris : Euroclear : 7478 – Bloomberg : PRC – Reuters : ARTF

Sommaire des communiqués d’Artprice :
http://serveur.serveur.com/press_release/pressreleasefr.htm

Découvrir l’alchimie et l’univers d’Artprice http://web.artprice.com/video/

Suivre en temps réel toute l’actualité du Marché de l’art avec Artprice sur Twitter :
http://twitter.com/artpricedotcom/

Contact: e-mail: ir@artprice.com

Artprice’s reply to the Conseil des Ventes Volontaires (French auction market supervisor)

Artprice discovered, first via the media and then via an email received from the Conseil des Ventes Volontaires, the latter’s request that Artprice should clearly and unequivocally indicate to the public its quality as an electronic auction broker « d’opérateur de courtage aux enchères réalisées à distance par voie électronique (in accordance with Article 5 of French Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011) ». Considering our long, constructive and peaceful relations with the French auction market supervisory authority (Conseil des Ventes Volontaires), we believe that its reaction to the forthcoming launch of our online auction brokerage activity (18 January) is based on a misunderstanding that will be cleared up once it has examined our documentation and particularly the preventative measures we have taken to avoid confusion in this respect.

In the first instance, Artprice invites the financial markets, its shareholders, its1.3 million members and of course the Conseil des Ventes Volontaires to consult the financial documentation and press releases that Artprice has submitted to Actusnews, a special financial information website certified by the AMF (French Financial Markets Authority), and particularly the press release dated 1 January 2012 in which Artprice states in the very first line, without any shadow of ambiguity, that its new online activity is indeed an online auction brokerage activity (« opérateur de courtage aux enchères réalisées à distance par voie électronique in accordance with Article 5 of French Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011”).

In fact, in order to avoid any confusion between the different legal statuses and activities covered by Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011, Artprice has commissioned a court-appointed attorney to take all necessary steps to highlight the precautionary measures taken by Artprice via its regulated disclosures, the presentation on its website of its new activity, the General Conditions of Use published thereon and various other communication media, in order to avoid any confusion between Artprice’s activity (auction brokerage) and that of public auction sales.

Moreover, Artprice has taken the precautionary measure of translating into all the languages used by its website the key information concerning its new service and it has deliberately avoided translating the references to its legal status under Article 5 of the Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011 precisely in order to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation that could arise from an inappropriate translation of Artprice’s status under Article 5 of French Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011 vis-à-vis the other legal statuses that govern public auction sales.

In conclusion, Thierry Ehrmann, CEO and founder of Artprice, declares that he is perfectly satisfied with the measures taken by Artprice and that Artprice will commence its online auction brokerage activity (opérateur de courtage aux enchères réalisées à distance par voie électronique) on 18 January 2012 in accordance with Article 5 of French Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011) and that the public will be able, as of Monday 9 January, to preview several thousand items advertised for sale at a broad range of prices, ranging from collectibles to museum-quality artworks. In total, Artprice has received ads representing roughly 700 million dollars in starting prices. As regards any legal discussions with the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris (Paris District Court), Artprice and its CEO believes that its will provide, through its lawyers Emmanuel Pierrat and Thierry Dumoulin, all the necessary elements to satisfy the parties concerned and to resolve the problem by eliminating any possible form of ambiguity.

It is clear that after nearly 500 years of monopolistic functioning, the auction market’s ambitious reform of 20 July 2011 (imposed by the European Directive Services) is bound to unsettle certain players in the market who are unaccustomed to free competitions environments.

Artprice cannot avoid the observation that having posted the best performance on the regulated French stock market (+ 472% since 1 January 2011) with a total volume of shares worth 873 million euros and a sliding annual progression of no less than 593% and 144 million euros of shares traded since 1 January 2012, it is naturally an object of envy and an attractive acquisition target for the historical players in the auction market who for reasons of conservatism have missed the train of History and of the Internet.

Source: http://www.artprice.com (c)1987-2012 thierry Ehrmann

Artprice is the global leader in databank on Art prices and indices with more than 27 million indices and auction results covering 450,000 Artists. Artprice Images(R) gives unlimited access to the largest Art Market resource in the world, a library of 108 million images or engravings of artworks from 1700 to the present day along with comments by Artprice’s art historians. Artprice permanently enriches its databanks with information from 3,600 auctioneers and publishes a constant flow of art market trends for the main news agencies and 6,300 international written media. For its 1.3 million members (member log in), Artprice posts standardized adverts in what is today the world’s leading Standardised Marketplace® for buying and selling works of Art (source Artprice).

Artprice is listed on Eurolist by Euronext Paris: Euroclear: 7478 – Bloomberg : PRC – Reuters: ARTF

List of Artprice press releases:
http://serveur.serveur.com/press_release/pressreleasefr.htm

Discover alchemy and Artprice’s universe on http://web.artprice.com/video/
Follow all of the art market’s news with Artprice on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/artpricedotcom/

Artprice Launches its Online Auctions

Artprice Launches its Online Auctions

PARIS, January 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —

As announced in previous press releases, Artprice, with its 1.3 million members in more than 90 countries, and in its capacity as an online auction broker (« opérateur de courtage aux enchères réalisées à distance par voie électronique », Article 5 of French Law no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011) will be launching its online auctions service on 18 January 2012.

Since 27 December 2011, Artprice members have been able to prepare their ads in order to gain the maximum benefit from the visibility of Artprice’s global launch campaign. For further information please visit: http://web.artprice.com/classifieds/info?l=en

Although more than 90% of the art market was closed between Christmas and the New Year, Artprice has already registered several thousand lots for sale. Our initial client feedback suggests that users find the service very quick and simple to use.

According to Thierry Ehrmann, the founder and CEO of Artprice, « The train of History is now definitively rolling and Artprice is on that train, which nothing can stop from now on. It took twelve years and lots of patience and conviction to pursue a legal battle against a 500 year-old monopoly that is today demolished. » Breaking this monopoly is a victory for Artprice; but it is also beneficial to France, which has been losing its attractiveness as an art market for over 40 years, slipping from the first to the fourth position, and which, this year, with the help of Artprice, can hope to recover a position worthy of its tradition and its influence on the art market.

On Monday 2 January 2012, Artprice launched a global campaign in art and financial media, focused on the USA, Europe and Asia, alongside a « viral marketing » campaign on the Internet.

On Monday 9 January 2012, Artprice will start the presentation of lots to be auctioned in chronological harmony with the art market which, every year, kicks off in the second week of January.

A level of security rarely attained on the Internet.

Our alliance with Escrow.com, the global leader in the management of escrow accounts, provides a 100% guarantee of security and payment for the parties to all transactions. The service provided by Escrow.com has been specifically tailored to meet all of Artprice’s rigorous requirements. Artprice’s capacity to offer 100% transaction security relies on its excellent knowledge of the digital economy and developments in the fields of information technology and Internet law. Indeed, we can affirm with complete confidence that the security of Artprice’s online auctions and other services is greater than that offered by traditional auctions and non-internet transactions.

Artprice works on the fundamental principle of perfectly identified members and, via an agreement with INTERPOL, buyers can access at any moment the latter’s international Stolen Works of Art database to check if a work being offered for sale is subject to any legal dispute or search warrant.

Unlike certain well-known general online auction companies, Artprice imposes a permanent legal presence on its clientele to ensure the smooth operation of its online auction brokerage activities via its Standardised Marketplace. Artprice’s contacts over the past 5 years with approximately 70 criminal investigation departments around the world has allowed Artprice to build an unrivalled level of Internet confidence that is strengthened by its constant collaboration with artists, beneficiaries and experts.

The real strength of Artprice is its use of an escrow and payment release system for which Artprice has conceptualised all possible legal scenarios to ensure that completed transactions are legally irreversible and to provide a level of security rarely attained in the Internet sphere. This escrow system functions on exactly the same principle as that used by solicitors and lawyers for various kinds of transactions.

The very low commissions charged by Artprice completely alter the dynamic of the art market.

Art professionals, collectors and beneficiaries will be inexorably drawn to use Artprice’s service because its low commissions modify the fundamental reality of the secondary art market. Its rates decrease from 9% to 5% depending on the value (in USD) of the transaction: 9% from 0 to 7,500 dollars; 7% from 7,500.01 to 15,000 dollars and 5% for transactions over 15,000.01 dollars. According to Thierry Ehrmann, the 5% rate for works offered at over 15,000.01 euros could attract entire sections of the Art market to this modus operandi because works in that price bracket are perfectly standardised and have been bought and sold for nearly 30 years, almost always « remotely », in view of the legal documents that vendors are obliged to produce on Artprice.

In parallel, Artprice is setting up white labels for major players in the art market, notably Auction Houses, that will use Artprice and its Standardised Marketplace as their technical host for online auctions, thereby providing Artprice – which is not an auctioneer – with another source of income.

Artprice is therefore open to demand from over 3,600 client and partner auctioneers and more than 7,400 art valuers who have already concretely manifested their vital need to join Artprice’s standardised marketplace in order to maintain their positions in the global art market and survive the necessary transition to a dematerialised art auction environment.

Internet, and more generally the digital revolution, has literally destroyed the global mono-economy of physical auction rooms, which today are just one channel for auctioneers to use and which -usually located in city centres- either represent an expensive (and now superfluous) rental cost or an under-exploited real estate asset.

In the context of a deeper than ever global economic and financial crisis, Artprice has once again -as in 2008- observed a very sharp increase in the number of works offered for sale through its Standardised Marketplace, with an acceleration of buy-to-sell operations. We can therefore assume that auction sales will follow the same growth path. Indeed, we are of the view that the economic and financial crisis represents a strong growth opportunity for Artprice’s Standardised Marketplace.

In fact, the history of the art market – like all markets – is naturally heading towards the circuits that are the fastest, the least expensive, the most liquid, where the price can be obtained in real-time and where there is a critical mass of participants with – of course – access to transparent information on all prices and indices.

Artprice’s Standardised Marketplace meets these five specific and vital needs for a modern market. Artprice, with its completely toll-free access model for its Standardised Marketplace, is absorbing the global market of private art sales faster than initially expected. With our extremely attractive rates we now expect to see the same pace of growth with our online auction service.

Over nearly 7 years Artprice has seen exponential growth of the offer on its Standardised Marketplace (the annual figures are available in Artprice’s 2010 Registration Document and online at the AMF under number D.11-0784 since 25 August 2011). In 2010, Artprice confirmed a total volume of artworks offered worth nearly 6.3 billion euros with a sales rate of approximately one third, for which Artprice received no commission.

We should point out that only Artprice holds and protects, as intellectual property, the entire process for joining the Standardised Marketplace® and for side-stepping the traditional system of physical auction rooms. Indeed, the situation may justifiably be compared to the old Stock Exchanges before the arrival of the ECNs (Electronic Communication Network) that made the outcry halls redundant on the majority of the world’s major stock markets, primarily by reducing the intermediation costs.

Art… a veritable safe haven investment in times of major crisis.

The economic and business media (Le Monde, The New York Times, the F.T. the A.F.P., Reuters, Bloomberg, etc.) regularly indicate that quality art represents a genuine safe haven in major crises. Artprice, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and the major international auctioneers also confirm the safe haven status of artworks (c.f. the Agefi’s interview with Artprice). In fact, despite the sombre economic and financial global context in 2011, the global art market posted extremely positive figures both in terms of volumes and prices in all countries, and numerous artists in Artprice’s global Top 500 posted new records.

This confidence is manifest on all continents. Like gold, artworks have for centuries been defensive investments in major crises and particularly in the context of sharp meltdowns in financial asset values such as those that the global economy is likely to continue experiencing in 2012/2013.

Artprice will soon be announcing alliances that will allow a presence on all continents with local partners.

The future of Artprice in 2012 and of the Art Market is unavoidably linked to Asia.

Artprice was the first press agent in the world to announce and certify figures in 2011 showing that China had unquestionably become the world’s leading art marketplace ahead of the USA in 2011. Artprice’s figures for 2011 have already confirmed China’s domination of the global art market for the second consecutive year.

There is therefore an irresistible logic to Artprice’s patient preparation for the opening of its subsidiary and clean rooms in Hong Kong that will be a testing ground for the People’s Republic of China and an entry point for Asia. Hong Kong is already one of the top five global art marketplaces. Likewise, agreements with major players such as online auction operators and major Asian art fairs will allow Artprice to extend the diffusion initiated in 2011 of its Asia-specific art market reports, country by country. As a simple example, Singapore should soon overtake France in the field of Contemporary Art sales. In this context Artprice and Art Stage Singapore, Asia’s largest Contemporary Art Fair (along with Art HK), have decided to intensify their editorial partnership and their marketing strategy in 2012. Artprice will also be a strategic partner with Art HK (Hong Kong).

The Internet’s absolute domination of the art market in 2012.

In 2012 Internet is therefore just a simple extension of the 1980s telephonic order with, in addition, a perfect reproduction of the work for the buyer and Artprice’s remarkable success is proof of this…. there remained therefore a final step and indeed the hardest step: the standardisation of the marketplace that Artprice has achieved in 14 years by imposing its unique and free standard via its Standardised Marketplace®.

From 1987 to 2004, Artprice’s databanks became the reference in this area and made Artprice the global leader in standardised art market information before it turned to the problem of market dematerialisation. This latter project fully exploits the standardisation represented by its 18 databases, fed by acquisitions around the world of publishers and art archives.

All of the industrial processes forming Artprice’s databanks are patent protected, notably by the A.P.P. (Agence de Protection des Programmes). These industrial processes standardise the Art Market (artist ID, work ID, catalogue raisonné ID, bibliography ID, estimate/econometric info ID.) with more than 180 million data entries and proprietary indices.

This globally unique knowledge is clearly explained in Artprice’s corporate video in five languages: http://web.artprice.com/video/

Artprice posted the best French stock market progression in 2011 and has filed a request for admission to compartment B of Euronext Paris.

Despite the crisis affecting stock market’s, Artprice’s share price outperformed in 2011 with an astonishing increase of +472% since 1 January 2011, on the back of a traded volume of approximately 873 million euros, i.e. an average daily volume of 3.2 million euros. This increase was the best performance on the regulated French Eurolist by Euronext markets (compartments A, B, C).

As Artprice satisfied all the admission criteria for admission to Compartment B in 2011, it is preparing its admission request for registration on compartment B of Eurolist to be filed with the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) along with the presentation of its candidacy to the NYSE Euronext Scientific Committee for Indices to be included in the indices relating to Compartment B.

In order to understand the legislative evolution of the art market over five centuries and the impact of recent changes on Artprice, we invite our shareholders and the market to read the 72 short and pedagogical questions and answers that form the basis of the interviews conducted in June and October of 2011. Hyperlinks to Actusnews (a professional regulated information provider licensed by the AMF): http://www.actusnews.com/communique.php?ID=ACTUS-0-25689

Lastly, Artprice invites its new and future shareholders who would like to acquaint themselves with the history of the Company to consult its highly detailed regulated information in its 2010 Registration Document filed and online at the AMF under D.11-0784 since 25 August 2011. Artprice, with more than 12 years of regulated disclosure on Eurolist, is proud of the high quality of the information it provides to financial market professionals and art market novices. All the questions of Artprice’s 18,000 shareholders are systematically answered in Artprice’s regulated disclosures that its posts online on its own website and on that of its AMF-authorised financial information provider, ActusNews.com.

Source: http://www.artprice.com (c)1987-2012 Thierry Ehrmann

Artprice is the global leader in databank on Art prices and indices with more than 27 million indices and auction results covering 450,000 Artists. Artprice Images(R) gives unlimited access to the largest Art Market resource in the world, a library of 108 million images or engravings of artworks from 1700 to the present day along with comments by Artprice’s art historians. Artprice permanently enriches its databanks with information from 3,600 auctioneers and publishes a constant flow of art market trends for the main news agencies and 6,300 international written media. For its 1.3 million members (member log in), Artprice posts standardized adverts in what is today the world’s leading Standardised Marketplace® for buying and selling works of Art (source Artprice).

Artprice is listed on Eurolist by Euronext Paris: Euroclear: 7478 – Bloomberg : PRC – Reuters: ARTF

List of Artprice press releases: http://serveur.serveur.com/press_release/pressreleasefr.htm

Discover alchemy and Artprice’s universe on http://web.artprice.com/video/

Follow all of the art market’s news with Artprice on Twitter: http://twitter.com/artpricedotcom/

Contact: Josette Mey – tel: +33(0)478-220-000, email: ir@artprice.com

Breaking News: Artprice launches online auctions

Breaking News: Artprice launches online auctions

List your lots for auction now to fully take advantage of our worldwide campaign announcing the grand opening of online auctions! Biddings start on 18 January 2012.

More info >>> http://web.artprice.com/classifieds/info?l=en

Best regards

thierry Ehrmann
Artprice founder

THE WORLD LEADER IN ART MARKET INFORMATION
Artprice is listed on Eurolist by Euronext Paris (Euroclear: 7478 – Bloomberg: PRC – Reuters: ARTF) – A company of Groupe serveur
1987-2011
© thierry Ehrmann

Occupy Wall street on american Tv.flv by Abode of Chaos

Occupy Wall street
« The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. »
« we demand that Barack Obama ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington. »
« People have a right to protest, and if they want to protest, we’ll be happy to make sure they have locations to do it, »
« We kept peaceful, because we wanted to attract people to us , If we used nonviolence, without killing any soldiers, then the people would help us. »
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PS : Et pour tous ceux qui n’ont pas pu venir décrypter la Borderline Biennale 2011 en cliquant le lien vous aurez l’ensemble des vidéos ! (Adults Only – Public majeur et averti).
http://www.borderlinebiennale.tv/

Exclusive interview parts 1 and 2 with Thierry Ehrmann, the Founder and Ceo of Artprice.com


Exclusive interview parts 1 and 2 with Thierry Ehrmann, the Founder and Ceo of Artprice.com

Paris, June 5, 2011
Paris, October 09, 2011

Boursica: Could you remind us of how Artprice was created?

Thierry Ehrmann:
It was first of all an enormous amount of collective work involving incredible art historians. In just 14 years, we bought up almost all the editorial funds in Europe and the USA and now we’re working on Asia. This covers art publishing houses, art editorial funds worldwide and assets representing over €30 million.

You should know that through the Serveur Group that I founded and is Artprice’s parent company (which specialises in judicial, juridical and scientific databases), we have been on the Internet since 1985 and we were therefore able to prepare and identify our key targets when we arrived on the art market in the 90’s.

BOURSICA: Who were these targets?

Thierry Ehrmann:
The targets were legendary firms such as the Enrique Mayer Guide (1962/1987), the famous Dictionary of Art Sales 1700-1900 by Doctor H. Mireur, the leading American company, Sound View Press, with nearly 50 databases in the USA (1991), Franck Van Wilder editions (1970) the Swiss company Xylogic, the world specialist in Art Market price indices (1985), the Bayer database on the Anglo-Saxon art market from 1700 to 1913, Caplan’s Monograms and Signatures, a world reference work (USA – 1976), L’Argus du Livre de Collection et des Manuscrits (France),a world reference work (1982); and the list goes on… And we bought them all.

For the past 14 years, we have also had a systematic policy of purchasing manuscripts and catalogues, mainly from 1700 to 1970 from the world over. We had no choice but to buy this historic knowledge, otherwise we could not have standardised the art market with certainty nor obtained perfect traceability of works of art and correctly allocated them to the artist’s biography.

We have gone well beyond the millions of hours of work by historians, research workers and journalists in the art market, who have documented and written on all the works taken from these manuscripts and catalogues, particularly from the 17th century to date. This is why we now have the largest database of information on the market in the world, which allows us to trace works of art over the centuries, with 108 million images or engravings of works of art from 1700 to date, commented by our art historians.

It is not without reason that Artprice enriches its databases from almost 4,500 auction houses in real time and publishes trends on the Art Market continuously for the main agencies and 6,300 press titles worldwide. Every day, without paying a single cent, we are present in the world press with our copyright and our Internet address. What more could you ask in terms of reputation and communication?

BOURSICA: Could you continue with how Artprice was created?

Thierry Ehrmann:
To get back to how it all started, we went back to the very beginnings of the art market, which was practically born in around 1700; it was only from that period that artists began to truly break free from commissions from the Princes of the Church and the Realm to finally produce works of art in response to demand. We can consider that It was at this time that the art market was born, in the economic sense of the word.

For the past 14 yearsn we’ve had experts and dealers working for us worldwide and as soon as they get their hands on manuscripts, they inform us and we buy the manuscripts and catalogues. We’ve bought so many that we’ve more or less achieved a shortage; at the outset we bought them at very high prices and then gradually the pincer technique has come into play and the latest are now bought every year at very reasonable prices. This fund is unique in the world and we open it up, with prior authorisation on our part, to researchers from the world over.

BOURSICA: So what is your added value on this documentary fund?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Our work on the Artprice databases is really like mining work, every day we have to go down into the mine, and we’ve being doing it for the past 15 years. In the years 2000 we reached a figure of over a hundred employees, whereas now there are just 45 of us because all the work is now in the databases. The number of employees has been divided by three and the number of servers has been multiplied by nearly 30 over the past decade. To standardise the art market we had to create the definitive inventory of works of art and the biography of hundreds of thousands of artists from the 4th century B.C. until today, sometimes with hundreds of homonyms to each of which the right works have to be attributed.

BOURSICA: How do you produce your reference prices since a painting is by its very nature unique?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Take for instance, a work of art identified in 1850, it goes from auction house to auction house over decades. We’re therefore certain that it is indeed the same work of art and we know its price and yield year after year. That’s why we are the only company in the world to have a perfect econometric method for all works of art. In econometrics, its called the repeated sales method, because we’re working on a homogeneous market. Others calculate arithmetic averages, using the method of comparables, but this leads to errors because their studies involve a heterogeneous market.

BOURSICA: How have you been able to get around this problem in such little time?

Thierry Ehrmann:
That’s why, in 2000, we bought the famous Swiss company Xylogic for a small fortune, a company of scientists who had created all the algorithms and price indices for the art market since 1985. We are the only ones to have, 10 years later, these gigantic databases (over 700 terabytes) in our own computer rooms, with nearly 900 servers operating on our own fibre optics, which we own. We do not depend on any IT services company, which explains why our developments and R&D are so fast and our IT expenses so low.

What’s very important for Artprice is that we have succeeded in building up the largest collection of annotated manuscripts and catalogues in the world. This colossal documentary fund has been entered on our expense account (income statement) using a precautionary principle, something that is very good news for our shareholders who have a balance sheet that does not reveal these assets which are, of course, significant.

We add new data to our databases every day from the world over. We have bought up Anglo-Saxon, Chinese and Dutch databases, without which we could not work, even if we put the best art historians on the development, they could not get the same results. For example, for a Dutch painter called Dick Van, an extremely common name in Holland, it is impossible, without our databases, to be certain that we’re talking about the same artist and his works.

BOURSICA: What do you reply to those who ask « why does everyone go on Artprice? »

Thierry Ehrmann:
Quite simply that we don’t have any real competitors because we’re the only ones who manage over a million biographies including artists who are not yet listed and 108 million images or engravings of works of art. Even someone who doesn’t really like Artprice can but search our databases for any artist who is not yet very well known, or is even totally unknown. The same goes for a rare work of art that requires authentication.

People only see the tip of the iceberg of Artprice, but Artprice is above all an enormous amount of work in the background, I even wonder myself how we’ve had the strength to do it! Passion, I believe, is the only rational explanation after all these decades…

BOURSICA: Is the money raised on the stock market, along with funds from the Serveur group and the Bernard Arnault group behind the success of Artprice acquisitions?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Yes, but only in part, because you should know that a cheque book is not the only thing needed to acquire these documentary funds; we’re talking about famous Historians and Authors, infamously ill-tempered, who in some cases had received mind-boggling offers, but the financial aspect was only secondary to these people. We had to persuade them of the importance of our project, as was the case with Frank Van Wilder and Peter Hastings Falk, for example.

These databases represent the wealth of Artprice and, as a precautionary measure, here again our balance sheets do not reflect the true value of our assets, which are truly significant. That is also a source of wealth for our shareholders for the years to come. IRFRS standards do not allow us to give the true value of our company, whence the stock market price which, as if by chance, is much closer to the truth; the Market is very seldom mistaken in over 10 years of continuous listing, as has been the case for Artprice.

BOURSICA: How do you manage reproduction rights for works on line?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Reproduction rights for the work is assured by the specific contract we have signed with the ADAGP, the most representative company in the world, which receives and distributes royalties in over 43 countries. This agreement was a real precursor (2007) in the digital economy and is regularly used as an example by the various different Ministries of Culture in Europe and particularly in France. There again, Artprice has taken the lead over any possible outsiders.

BOURSICA: Would it be possible to create another « Artprice »?

Thierry Ehrmann:
No, absolutely not. Everything is protected under intellectual property laws. Amongst other things I’m trained as a lawyer in literary and artistic property and in the 90’s I was also the instigator of a lobby that aimed at protecting databases in Europe, which then became the « Sui Generis » law, the European law equivalent to what is known in the USA as software patents.

To put it simply, anyone, even someone willing to invest several hundreds of millions of euros, would be prosecuted and forbidden from building up databases or an Artprice Standardised Marketplace, and sentenced for counterfeit and fined in proportion to the investments made, in addition to a ban on using their databases.

Therefore a possible competitor would need to have not only a very large amount of funds available, he would also have to be able to reinvent ergonomics and a structure entirely different from Artprice’s. By analogy, and simplifying the example to the extreme, you could say that we have protected the fact that a car has round wheels; an adversary would have to dream up a vehicle on tracks or on a rail, which as you can imagine is an extremely big obstacle to overcome.

BOURSICA: How are you sure you will do auctions?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Over 80% of Auction Houses worldwide draw up their catalogues based on our data; in real time they use the artist’s biography, prices and indices, and the work traceability, in order to estimate the starting price. Between 2001 and 2003, we spent 2 years calling and visiting 3,600 Auction Houses and 7,400 experts. This marketing and engineering study was extremely expensive in terms of world travel and staff expenses. The Auction House world was devoid of any databases; at best Auctioneers had available Word or Excel files. Still today some of the world’s greatest Auction Houses do not have any computerised databases.

BOURSICA: How is it possible to be so behind, in terms of computerisation and the Internet in 2011?

Thierry Ehrmann:
It’s just crazy. That being said, an old IT rule says that the greater the power or knowledge of a profession or social body, the more it disdains or ignores IT until the day it is forced to give in to the its customers’ demands. In this case, Artprice has arrived in the nick of time. Our professional clients are highly captive and return to us over the years. That’s another proof of our professionalism to our shareholders.

Using our intranet an auction house can produce its paper and Internet catalogue very quickly, and at the same time promote on the standardised Artprice market place its future sales with just a click of the mouse. It can, for example, electronically promote a contemporary sale including 63 different artists to our 1.3 million clients, only those who follow and research these 63 artists (or even certain specific periods of the artist concerned). This is the « killer application » every Auction House has dreamed of, whether large or small, even those who have spent fortunes in advertising and marketing campaigns. For a prestige sale, advertising and marketing can represent up to 70% or 80% of an Auction House’s expenses, whereas with Artprice it will cost them only 4.5%.

BOURSICA: Why have you chosen the Abode of Chaos as Artprice’s headquarters, is that provocation or strategy?

Thierry Ehrmann:
It’s neither. The world of the Abode of Chaos is inseparable from the history of Artprice and of the Serveur Group, a historic Internet pioneer since 1985, the two of which have their headquarters in the heart of the Abode of Chaos. La Demeure du Chaos / Abode of Chaos, dixit he New York Times, was conceived by me in 1999, it feeds on the alchemy of chaos of our 21st century, both tragic and sumptuous, the embers of which came into being on September 11, 2001. It is almost the same age as Artprice, give or take 3 years.

Today, with over 1,890 reports in the written and audiovisual press in 72 countries in just 12 years, it has become a « Factory », an essential Museum, unique in the world, according to the international art press. It’s an open-air, free-entry museum, presenting over 3,627 works, welcoming 120,000 visitors every year. Every time the world art press talks about the Abode of Chaos, Artprice is of course mentioned.

How could one build Artprice out of nothing, an almost-mythical company which sources 90% of the world press on art market information, without being oneself, body and soul, an artist who is passionate about the history of art? You can’t imagine the number of visitors to my Museum, now number two in Lyon in terms of the number of visitors, who are Artprice clients or shareholders. Every year we hold our annual general meeting at the Abode of Chaos and all we’ve been given are encouragements for the past 10 years.

In terms of clients, and particularly world art galleries, they are extremely aware of working with Artprice, whose founder has been registered for over 25 years with rights holder companies as a sculptor. Take a look at my entry in Who’s Who and you’ll understand. I have lots of work on show worldwide. You should be aware that the art world is highly sensitive and, in the 90’s certain purists saw Artprice, with its indices, prices and statistics, as a group that did not understand the sensitivity of their world, not to mention the fact that we were listed on the Stock Market. But with the Abode of Chaos these same purists have become our most loyal customers. That’s the real answer to your question!

BOURSICA: How would you value Artprice?

Thierry Ehrmann:
For nearly 120 years, according to the comparables method, the value of an Auction House in the world is 80% the client file, at between $800 and $4,000 per client and 20% the Auction House’s name, if it is well known. To understand the difference between one client valued at $800 and the other at $4,000, understand that the price is based on the strands of information we hold on the end customer.

BOURSICA.COM: Could you be clearer, with a specific example?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Let’s take the example of a sale by the sculptor Arman (1928/2005). You could define a degree 1 ($800) with the Auction House who tells you, I’ve got 4,500 clients who buy new realists like Yves Klein, César, Arman or Nikki de Saint-Phalle etc…. Degree 2 would be that the Auction House tells you that it also has clients who buy only Arman sculptures, in the knowledge that he is also a painter and a photographer. But the ultimate offer, the one that only Artprice can offer to date, is degree 3 where one can offer the 4,500 clients in the world who are looking for Arman sculptures on the highly specific theme of « organic waste ». Within this context, holding this final information is the absolute Holy Grail for Auction Houses or Dealers. Because they can be certain that bids will reach a maximum. One can therefore presume that degree 3 is value in the upper bracket, at around $4,000 per client.

This is the oldest method of valuing an Auction House. The great value of Artprice is that, for a sale, we can find collectors throughout the world who, by their presence, will double or even triple the selling price of a work of art. In a catalogued sale for a well-known artist, new collectors from the other side of the world can double the sale and, in this respect, Artprice is the only company to hold details of these famous collectors, in 210 different countries.

We can state without any difficulty that we currently have on Artprice 100% of those who count in the art market, the great dealers, the great collectors, all the Auction Houses and Experts, the hard core, those who make and unmake prices, known as market-makers. They are all systematically clients of Artprice.

BOURSICA: Even your critics are on Artprice?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Even our fiercest critics use our data. We have 1,300,000 clients, you can consider that value is made according to the level of research of clients. The more clients who are looking for something specific we have, the greater the value of these clients. We are certain of offering the narrowest search criteria. The narrower the search, the more the client is in a position to increase prices at auction and therefore this client is all the more interesting for the Auction House.

We have an extremely complete client file with over 18 billion logs, respecting the demands of the CNIL and European and American authorities, which enables us to know exactly what our clients own or are looking for. Putting things into perspective I really believe that this is currently the best method by which to valorise an Auction House because it is 120 years old and is still up to date, tried and tested thousands of time over, worldwide.

BOURSICA.COM: What will be the level of commission you earn on the transactions?

Thierry Ehrmann:
We are very competitive because intermediation is at 37.5% according to the Voluntary Sales Council, which is the AMF of the art market, whereas we will be at between 4.5% and 7%. We will be better than a bank for a gallery. We will take 4.5% for the transaction and, in addition, between 3% and 4.5% on the hire of the client file we have just talked about, which will enable Auction Houses to target potential buyers better, because we put into contact with the Auction House people looking for Arman works and, better still, offering them the « Arman Organic Waste » period customers, for example. Similarly, commission will be 4.5% on private sales.

BOURSICA: Is Artprice ripe for a takeover bid?

Thierry Ehrmann:
A hostile takeover bid is impossible due to the fact that the Serveur Group controls the Artprice capital, on the other hand a friendly takeover bid, why not, if it is logical in terms of the industry, notably with an auction house listed on the Stock Market, we would think about it.

To better understand Artprice, its reference document or annual report should be consulted, those are real gold mines in terms of sensitive information and are really up to date and detailed.

BOURSICA: Does Artprice have any competitors?

Thierry Ehrmann:
No, that’s stated clearly in the report, because everything is protected under intellectual property law. We only have, within a different perimeter, the company Artnet which achieves in volume in one year on the stock market, the same as we achieve in a week. Artnet is not in the same business as we are, it is listed only on a non-regulated stock market and its accounts are not audited. We see it as a luxury host site which does not own its own production tool. Also, it has not always respected copyright law in a certain number of countries. In addition it’s had its brand Artnet snatched due to lack of vigilance by over 18 different depositors in 21 countries, some of which are major countries…. Finally, its rates are outrageous, with a limited number of requests per month, something which was done on the Internet at the beginning of the 90’s. We consider that, in order to be world leader, you have to implement an extremely aggressive pricing policy, like Dell, which I see as a model and which has thrashed the world of PCs and Servers.

BOURSICA: Is Artprice abusing its dominant position?

Thierry Ehrmann:

No! Your question contains the answer, what is punished by the competition authorities is the abuse, not the dominant position, we haven’t refused any sale, our prices reflect the reality of our costs and investments and we have no selective sales policy, but above all we are the original authors of all the products and services offered by Artprice, offering a new and innovative approach. Some people have attempted to make this claim, but their cases have been systematically dismissed.

To take the market fairly but aggressively, such low prices would be necessary that a hypothetical competitor would immediately be operating at a loss since they would not have done like us and paid for all the investments over a 14 year period.

The proof of this is that during the period 2000/2010 no competitor arrived on the scene, on the other hand countless numbers of art sites have gone bankrupt and closed down due to lack of traffic and therefore, turnover; Every week we get about ten requests for buyouts of brands, websites or DNS but they are absolutely of no interest to us, with the exception of some highly specific micro databases in emerging countries.

BOURSICA: Did you try and buy out Artnet?

Thierry Ehrmann:
We were asked three times to buy out Artnet, but it was of no interest to us, at the risk of being subject to a large number of lawsuits. As for the brand, in view of the fact that it is not registered worldwide we would have been immediately caught up in intellectual property conflicts with the other owners of Artnet, who are in their own rights.

BOURSICA: It would appear that other DNS can access the Artprice databases…

Thierry Ehrmann:
Yes, of course, such as for example Artmarket.com. We have 1,800 DNS which are generics around the Art market in 9 languages. If you type Artmarket into Google, you get Artprice as number 1 in ranking thanks to the DNS Artmarket.com. We registered the entire semantic at the beginning of the 90’s, in order to address the art market.

Some of them are worth their weight in gold today because there are generics in the purest state, such as Artmarket, but we refuse to sell them.

BOURSICA: Do you have any new clients?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Yes, we get new clients every day and we realise that the average age of our customers is increasing because we have people who discover the Internet, to such an extent that we have to help them in their navigation on the site, and on The Internet in general. We have a policy of going to seek out new clients, wherever they are, and accompanying them on Artprice. This clientele is called, amongst other things the « silver surfers », as defined by the giants in marketing as being surfers with silver (grey) hair, in other words, Seniors (over the age of 55). Similarly, we are seeing more and more young collectors, with an average age of 30/35 years, whence the phenomenal success of the Artprice Smartphone subscription. The Art Market has indeed increased worldwide from 500,000 collectors just after the war to a current total of almost 300 million art-lovers, collectors and professionals, whose favourite hunting grounds are the Internet with the market going virtual, notably with Artprice’s normalised market place. And the Asian continent has created an explosion in the Art Market, in terms of market players.

BOURSICA: How is Artprice’s financial health?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Unlike the vast majority of listed companies, we do not have a single cent in debt. No bank overdraft, short, medium or long term loans, no financial instruments to reimburse such as BSA and other derivative products… That’s what very often amazes the AMF!! We also have a good cash flow and negative working capital requirements.

I should point out that I am deeply hostile to any increases in capital which not only dilute shareholders but also, and this is often forgotten, prevent a listed company from seeing its price rising very rapidly. Proof is that Artprice has about 4 million shares in circulation. If we were like most of the companies on the regulated Eurolist, there would rather be between 20 and 40 million shares in circulation and we would have increased by only €2 or €3 in 2 months, whereas we have gained €22 for a volume processed in 45 market trading sessions of around €250 million.

BOURSICA: With the volumes we have seen, why hasn’t the declaration threshold been crossed?

Thierry Ehrmann:
According to our latest TPI enquiry and estimates, we have increased from 18,000 shareholders to a possible estimate of around 27,000 shareholders. In 2010 81% of our clients were Artprice shareholders. This is a proof of security because they know almost everything about Artprice, sometimes they’re the ones who identify targets for us to buy or give us ideas for improving our databases.

BOURSICA: What about the Chinese funds?

Thierry Ehrmann:
For them the notion of crossing a threshold is not one they understand, they enter through a multitude of accounts, which enables them to remain under the threshold limit. We have made conference calls to fund managers, 2/3 of whom are in Hong Kong. I’ve never seen that before and it’s certain that they are not buying for French customers.

BOURSICA: How long do you think it will be before the legislative course is completed for the Law on the liberation of auction sales?

Thierry Ehrmann:
It’s a question of weeks, at most. It should be pointed out that in less than 45 years France has moved from 1st to 4th place in the world, with China now in first place, followed by the USA in second place and the United Kingdom in third.

Also, the Drouot scandal has weighed very heavily. Every week we come across consequences of that business, investigations have only just begun. I suggest you read the book « Adjugé Volé » (« Auctioned and Stolen ») by Michel Deléan on this matter. 39 investigations have already started. The government would appear to have decided to go all the way, knowing that Drouot represents 45% of the French art market. We have exasperated the Europeans with adaptation of this directive into domestic law and there is enormous pressure on France. It’s an affair of the State, with a risk of colossal fines being imposed by the European Court of Justice. Moreover, the French Art Market Authority, the CVV, considers that it would be suicidal for France to go for a minimal reform and after the injunctions from Brussels it is highly likely that the matter will go before the ECJ very soon.

We were the first to draft the code of law, the Code des Ventes Volontaires et Judiciaires in 2000, which has now become the reference amongst French auctioneers. It’s the only book (1800 pages) which refers to the first reform of 2000 and its non-application. That reform of 2000 was a gigantic farce because Auctioneers have remained with their monopoly of 1535 with, amongst other things, the obligation of requesting an authorisation for each sale.

In cases where this was given just a few days or even a few hours before the sale it proved a real obstacle to free movement of products and services in Europe, particularly for auctions of works of art on the Internet.

We have all the factors for success. The process has been definitely endorsed. The train of History is on its way and we are in that train, which nothing can stop now. We only had to be very patient and determined against this monopoly which has lasted almost 500 years, by following the way of the legislative cross for 10 years.

BOURSICA: Why haven’t you moved away?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Because the cost of going would have been greater, not to mention other incidences such as communicating in a foreign language, a new stock market, physical moving of all the system, the staff, etc.

BOURSICA: What have you got to say about the ISF (tax on fortune)?

Thierry Ehrmann:
That’s a very serious subject. It’s the UMP parliamentary block that has made this proposal. Their analysis is to set up an ISF that targets only indisputable latent capital gains. I don’t necessarily agree with it, I do not believe that it is the right solution but parliamentarians have understood that Artprice enables them to say to collectors that there is an exact gain for the works of art they own. On the other hand, clearly this will be good for the Artprice marketplace because people can benefit from remaining anonymous, with Artprice protecting the identities of both buyer and seller. This is not possible in actual auction sales rooms. We noticed that the number of creations of virtual portfolios by our clients exploded on the day the announcement was made and during the ensuing hours, to simulate the price of their collection.

BOURSICA: Can we be thinking about rapid transition to the SRD Long Only?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Maybe in September, it’s up to the Euronext scientific committee to decide, but clearly we exceed the entry criteria.

BOURSICA: Have you backtested your system for future on-line auctions?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Yes of course we have. We have carried out beta tests abroad and everything is operational. Auction Houses are already linked up to our Intranet for catalogues. For the marketplace I think there will be 80% Auction Houses and professionals and 20% collectors and individuals. As soon as the law is passed our best clients will be the Auctioneers. They say themselves « we can only do it with Artprice ». They let the Internet train pass them by at the end of the 90’s and then again in 2005 and now it’s too late and too expensive. The show has already sold out.

BOURSICA: How far has Artprice penetrated the Chinese market?

Thierry Ehrmann:
In order to succeed we have acquired lots of Chinese databases, otherwise it would have been impossible. We have had the extremely diplomatic help of the Chinese authorities; we had to have it because Chinese Auction Houses are partially controlled by the government. The cultural affairs department in China helped us to show that China was first in the world art market. We have Chinese staff in Lyon, it took us 4 years between the moment we decided to go for the Chinese market and the moment when we became operational.

BOURSICA: Did you have any difficulties in becoming world leader? You’re sometimes criticised for your procedural attitude?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Yes, and I take 100% responsibility for it. We’ve had to face 126 law suits in 14 years in several countries, particularly brought by distributors of price list books which we had bought from the publishing houses and who wanted their share on The Internet, we have also had disputes with the numerous counterfeiters of Artprice, for whom we have zero tolerance. We have won 117 of these cases, including all the main ones. Such as those against the 5 French Auction Houses, some of which are with Drouot actually, they all refrained from going to the Appeal Court, except Camard whom we are prosecuting. The cases we lost were against third parties who had no impact on the life of the company, its accounts or its objectives. Christie’s World is one of our greatest victories.

BOURSICA: Can we hope for a dividend in the near future?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Yes, I think in 2013/2014 according to our forecasts. Before that I think we will have enriched our shareholders quite considerably through the share price. First we will increase equity in order to finance the servers and other very expensive equipment we require to enable us to develop worldwide with maximum security. Remember that we are the only ones to own our own machine rooms. We are considered as Internet pioneers in France. The Serveur Group was the first French provider and the second in Europe according to Time Magazine. The wealth created for our shareholders will be such in terms of the share price that they can’t have share and dividend to begin with! Particularly since we have never increased our capital.

BOURSICA.COM: What will be the impact of the change of status after the law on the annual turnover figure?

Thierry Ehrmann:
It will absolutely explode! Growth will be colossal.

BOURSICA: Can we consider that at €30 we are only at the beginning of the story?

Thierry Ehrmann:
It will be noted that the price is returning to the levels reached in 2005/2006 when we started to talk about transposing the Services Directive. €30 is only the very beginning, a simple return to the level before France began its 5-year exasperation of Europe with its pathetic attitude. If we want to think about this seriously, we can only start with a basis of €67, which was the top price reached. We have kept all the commitments included in our introductory prospectus. We are even well above the commitments made in the 1999 prospectus. €67 was the market price when the standardised market didn’t exist. We therefore have the right to expect, quite logically, a start price that will be positioned above €67. « Price seen, price re-seen » is a very old stock market rule.

BOURSICA: And to end with, what is your prediction for the future of Artprice?

Thierry Ehrmann:
With regard to our commitments, which at the time were very ambitious on the 1999 introductory prospectus, we have met them all, well beyond the prospectus actually, coming through the 2000 NASDAQ crisis, the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the 2003 war in Iraq and the big financial crisis which began in 2007 and which is far from over. With this decade, which has been the most catastrophic in the past two centuries, I know of only very few companies listed on the regulated stock market which have come out alive, without increasing their capital and which, during this same period, have acquired an undisputed world-leader position. To close this interview, I sincerely believe that we have only seen 10% of the history of Artprice

Paris, October 09, 2011

Second part of an exclusive interview with Thierry Ehrmann, CEO of Artprice.com (9 October 2011)

Boursica: Since our first interview in early June, a lot has happened to Artprice and to financial markets.
We have many questions to which we would like you to give detailed answers.
Firstly, why, in your opinion, did the exclusive interview that you gave to Boursica in June 2011 about Artprice – presented in several languages on Google (and view 210 000 times so far) – elicit so much interest from the public?

Thierry Ehrmann?
I just think French shareholders are frustrated with politically correct communiqués from companies listed on regulated markets that require doctorate level educations to decrypt.
The first interview recounts in plain language the extraordinary story of Artprice’s development, created from scratch 14 years ago, to become the world leader in art market information. The story’s appeal is intimately linked to the fact that it concerns, above all, an extraordinary human adventure and with an exceptional team, a huge project considered almost utopian at the time, but which has now become a hard reality, used every day by 1.3 million Artprice members and millions of free users who ultimately purchase information on Artprice when the time is right for them.

Boursica: In that first interview you talked about Artprice’s uninterrupted sequence of unprecedented legal disputes. The company’s development therefore hasn’t been all roses?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Artprice’s history has indeed involved many legal battles on different continents. You cannot break into the world’s oldest monopoly – the art market – without treading on some people’s feet. But in that interview, I clearly argued that today you cannot judge a company simply by its accounts, balance sheet and annexes. In 2011, non-tangible assets and particularly intellectual property have become, to quote Paul Getty, the petroleum of the 21st century. IFRS still cannot measure numerous human, financial and scientific factors which are fundamental for appreciating a group such as Artprice.

Boursica: This sort of language may be appropriate for your small shareholder audience, but is it enough for financial professionals!

Thierry Ehrmann:
Absolutely! You cannot imagine the number of fund managers, corporate bankers and financial analysts who have admitted to me that, with that interview, they have at last obtained a really useful insight into Artprice, one that had been lacking in the 10 years of registration documents and regulatory information that has been in circulation. It is even possible that one day Artprice will be studied as a case example at the SFAF (Société Française des Analystes Financiers – French School of Financial Analysis).

Boursica: So in your view, the communication issued by listed companies on regulated markets is simply a coded way of saying nothing?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Regulated information, contrary to conventional wisdom, can disclose a lot more than we imagine. Some listed companies should stop railing against the AMF and other supervisory authorities. What I am talking about is the way certain companies conduct a kind of self-censorship. Who is going to invest in equity on the basis of a quarterly publication that contains very little in the way of concrete reality? The recent communiqués from the banks are of course a perfect example… particularly concerning their stress tests and their risk exposure. In just three months, we have heard some extremely conflicting information…

Boursica: So what should senior management teams do?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Business leaders should have an honest and almost physical relationship with markets and shareholders. Of course, this involves time, endurance and the management of sometimes passionate feedback, but these are the rules of the game. All honest, passionate and full communication leads mechanically to shareholder or fund manager disinhibition because these people are constantly subjected to the dictates of sterile press releases and so when they hear or read something « real », they sometimes go with Artprice.

Boursica: Let’s talk again about the law of 20 July 2011 which transposed the European Services Directive into French law, and about its impact on online auctions. What does this mean for you?

Thierry Ehrmann:
It represents a huge victory for us after eleven years of legislative hell, European lobbying and a merciless war against a small cast of individuals that was hell-bent on perpetuating this monopoly which has survived since 1556 to the 21st century. All kinds of twisted strategies have been thrown at us… but they have only strengthened our confidence that we had, in the form of Artprice’s Standardized Marketplace and the behaviour logs of our 1.3 million members in accordance with European laws on data personal, a very important share of the global art market. The legal allegation of concerted practices that Artprice has filed with the anti-trust authorities is currently being investigated and it contains some highly incriminating information for our opponents. This case will no doubt generate some very interesting news in the near future.

Boursica: This hard-headed determination to resist change by what you call a « cast », does it have its roots in an economic logic or in a simple loss of social status?

Thierry Ehrmann:
An old rule says that the degree of aggressiveness of the opponent tells you, in real time, the distance you are from the vault where he reigns supreme. From this point of view, with 126 trials of which 117 have been won on different continents (see the first interview), we were sure, without a shadow of a doubt, that we were extremely close to acquiring, legally, this monopoly without an abuse of a dominant position. I would liken our war with the old guard to the process described in Tomasi of Lampedusa’s The Leopard – a perfect metaphor for what we have experienced.

Boursica: This law is applicable since 1 September 2011. What are you waiting for?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Indeed, 1 September 2011 is the date of application of the law, but I invite you to read Article 5 where are obliged to wait for a joint Order from the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Culture concerning the movement of cultural assets. This Order will soon be declared. I should clarify that an Order is not subject to any legislative debate and, as its name suggests, allows uniquely for the determination of the applicative methodology of a given piece of legislation. There is therefore no risk that a third party could slow down in any manner whatsoever this unilateral communiqué.

Boursica: Some of our members told us the Figaro newspaper had decided to launch itself in the auction world.

Thierry Ehrmann:
Nothing new… I remind you that the Dassault family is both the owner of Figaro and one of France’s major auction houses, Artcurial. For years, the Figaro has run full-page advertisements for Artcurial. It was therefore natural that the Figaro, under its own brand, should promote the sales of the auction houses in its own group (amongst others), but the Figaro, as a legal entity, is not an operator within the meaning of the Act of 20 July 2011. I remind you that for several years now Artprice, through a partnership, has been providing almost all the data and text for the Special Issue of Figaro Fine Art – Guide to the Art Market.

Boursica: Specifically, how will auctions on Artprice actually take place? Will it be like eBay?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Absolutely not! For many reasons: the average hammer price being, according to our studies, around 12,000 euros, this requires a fundamentally different legal and commercial approach. Our model is primarily based on clearly identified members. Thanks to an agreement we have signed with Interpol’s Stolen Works of Art database, on our system, buyers can check at any time, from any page in our site, whether the artwork being presented for sale is subject to any claim, search warrant or ownership dispute.
Unlike the well-known public auctions services, Artprice imposes on its customers a permanent legal presence which I believe provides the confidence necessary for the success of our Standardized Marketplace as an online auction broker operating remotely by electronic means. In effect, Artprice has been working over the past 5 years with nearly 70 criminal investigation departments around the world allowing Artprice to build an unrivalled level of Internet confidence that is strengthened by its constant collaboration with artists, beneficiaries and experts.
However, our real advantage is our decision to set up escrow accounts with release instructions in which Artprice has conceptualised all possible legal scenarios to ensure that its online sales are indisputable and can be conducted with a level of confidence rarely equalled on Internet. This escrow principle is the same principle used by notaries and lawyers in transactions.

Boursica: Can you tell us exactly how this escrow account will work?

Thierry Ehrmann:
So I will briefly describe the process: when the seller, via a series of procedures, validates the highest bidder of the auction, the buyer must physically transfer the amount, by any means of payment he may wish to use, to an escrow bank account using a unique username and account I-D number. You know the golden rule… a crook will never pay for something in advance. In our framework, the seller has a strong guarantee with the money transferred to a trusted third party. Then, after a highly codified set of procedures, the buyer will definitively validate the sale and give the instruction to release the funds so that the seller can collect the proceeds of the sale and Artprice, in turn, can receive its commission, ranging from 4.5% to 9%, depending on the products and services used in the sale. Our great strength is that we start with a database where each of our 1.3 million members is attributed a confidence index score in compliance with the European directives on personal data.

Boursica: So according to you, the security on Artprice would be almost greater than at a traditional auction house.

Thierry Ehrmann:
Indeed… I would say that our excellent knowledge of the digital economy, combined with our highly advanced computer systems and our unmatched attention to the legal dimension, means that our auctions and other services enjoy a better level of security than that which obtains in the old economy. According to the French Payment Cards Economic Interest Group, we have had, for over 10 years, one of the lowest rates of credit card rejection.

Boursica: In our first interview you described exactly how Artprice can, on its Marketplace, meet the demand of a client wishing to sell, for example, a sculpture by Armand: « Les Poubelles Organiques » by extracting from its billions of client logs all clients who are fans of Armand, his sculptures in particular and more specifically of the period in which he produced Les Poubelles Organiques. Since then however, you have reported further progress; what is that?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Once again, the art market is still way behind the global reality. We must remember that we went from 50 million Internet users in 2000 to over 2.5 billion Internet-connected people in 2011. In 2013, we will largely exceed the three billion threshold. That is why, we have received from around the world – after the law passed on 20 July 2011 – a number of highly interesting proposals from groups operating in the art market and financial groups who believe that just as the virtual stock market replaced the old trading floor, so our Standardized Marketplace is not just an option… but an obligation! I remind you that our parent Group Server, of which I am the founder, has been on the Internet since 1985.

Boursica: What exactly are we talking about here? Potential clients or potential competitors for Artprice?

Thierry Ehrmann:
In the first interview, I clearly explained that Artprice’s Standardized Marketplace is subject to massive intellectual property protection, and on a number of different continents. So we are talking about potential clients and major accounts.

Boursica: What do you mean by potential clients? Since you have said in your press releases that almost 83% of Auction Houses and art experts already work with you.

Thierry Ehrmann:
Indeed, that figure is correct and confirmed. I’m talking about new clients and groups, mainly Asian, relatively young and very wealthy, who cannot envisage the art market of the 21st century, so they say, without a business or capitalistic alliance with Artprice’s Standardized Marketplace. They bring us community networks, hundreds of thousands of buyers and sellers, because they rightly believe that the art market will take off seriously when the intermediation margin collapses, which according to the Council of Voluntary Sales, is about 37.5%.

Boursica: What is their business model and where is your advantage?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Despite a dominant position, there are still – especially in Asian countries like China, of course, (the world’s no. 1 art marketplace)… but also Singapore, Hong Kong etc. – a number of capillary networks that cannot be apprehended. Our partners have fully understood the value-added they bring us and they have integrated, contrary to what is generally believed, the insurmountable barrier of intellectual property that is indeed a very substantial barrier to entry (cf Apple vs. Samsung). So they modelled – with large sums of money that no European is able to commit – a war machine by using affinity marketing to piggyback our Standardized Marketplace. Simply speaking, we are implementing white and/or free brands. For them, the cards have been dealt, and some of them are already forecasting their IPOs. It’s not for nothing that we are patiently preparing the opening of a subsidiary and data rooms in Hong Kong which is the testing laboratory of the People’s Republic of China and the gateway to all of Asia. Hong Kong is already one of the top five capitals of the global art market.

Boursica: So does this mean in concrete terms that Artprice is going to participate in IPOs?

Thierry Ehrmann:
We need to understand that the crisis which started in 2007 is, in my opinion, a sign of the decline of the West and certainly not just another recession. I have no time to lose. While in Europe, it takes me three months to get an appointment with a key player, in Asia, we are already drafting memoranda of understanding. As such, it is clear that Artprice will use for its own account all the interest of future IPOs of these major players whose projected funding will, in some cases, be larger than Sotheby’s, which is listed on the NYSE.

Boursica: Who can exceed Sotheby’s capitalization?

Thierry Ehrmann:
I am thinking, for example, of Poly International Auction, a leading Chinese auction house that we have known physically for a number of years and which is preparing its IPO without the slightest concern for the collapse of Western financial markets. There are also a large number of players who have understood the sociological mechanism of art fairs and biennials and found in the social network, Artprice Insider (that we have been developing for nearly two years with sociologists, market players and its members) a revolutionary way to perpetuate an art fair, which by nature is an ephemeral phenomenon, but nonetheless necessary.

Boursica: Does this mean the end of Contemporary Art fairs as we know them?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Ultimately, yes… but in practice, of course not… they will still continue and will act as the highlights of art news, the continuity of which, throughout the year will be on Artprice Insider amongst other sources. Here again, we had to patiently deconstruct the socio-economic mechanism of international fairs. To understand this revolution, dealers and galleries, in the 1990s, considered international fairs as a way to boost their sales. Today, their main concern is to exchange information with their clients and colleagues and, at the very least, to earn enough to cover the cost of their stand. Again, we replace an expensive and ephemeral physical network by a low-cost and permanent digital network. We must not forget that there are more than 300 international art fairs a year, which is a heresy from an economic point of view. Only historical and powerful Fairs such as the FIAC – with whom we have jointly edited for the last 5 years the bilingual annual report on the Contemporary Art market – will survive.

Boursica: In the current economic crisis which is unprecedented, is art really a safe haven?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Many studies by economists, sociologists and researchers have been published in the 20th century on the profitability of artworks, but these researchers did not have right econometric tools. They used, in general, arithmetic tools which were based on a comparison approach; but this approach induced errors since their studies involved a heterogeneous market type, as I explained in the first interview. To recap, we can trace a work that has been identified and « standardized » by us from a sales catalogue in 1908 as it is sold at auction regularly through the subsequent decades. Our system allows us to be sure it is the same artwork. We therefore know its value and performance year by year, and for this reason, we are the only company in the world to have a flawless econometric method (base on repeat sales) that can be applied to all « homogeneous » works.
That’s why we set up indices and tools from the financial milieu that measure the performance of Old, Modern and Contemporary art. Our statistics show without any doubt that in certain price ranges and concerning certain artists or specific works, the price performance is almost constant, regardless of external factors, including the collapse of financial markets.

Boursica: That seems to suggest we could have derivative instruments based on the art market?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Indeed, we have international partners from the private banking and finance sectors who, together with our data, are preparing the securitization of artworks for which we own the entire history of prices and indices. We should not forget that artworks were involved in the launch of the first banks in Europe and for many centuries they were used as pledges and guarantees and as vehicles of fiduciary value.

Boursica: Who will be their professional buyers and their final clients?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Mainly financiers, who usually have good knowledge of the art market and who believe that these derivative products – backed by the reliable indices that we produce – give them additional protection against stock market volatility.
The first marketing tests have been very positive. Clients of private banks or family offices (more than 30 million HNWIs around the world) were very receptive to this type of financial asset.

Boursica: Why do you think that – faced with such revolutionary changes – the existing structure of the Western art market is so conservative?

Thierry Ehrmann:
I would not be quite so categorical. The older generation is indeed at least 30 years behind because it was mainly negotiating works by deceased artists. This gave them the certainty that very few new works by the artists would appear on the market. Today, mainly in Asia but also in North America and Europe, Contemporary living artists often produce more than their Modern peers who, according to art history criteria, are all dead. So we are in the presence of nearly a million recognized artists, living exclusively from their work, with an average sale price on the primary market of 8,000 to 15,000 euros (galleries) and to the secondary market (auctions) of 30,000 – 70,000 euros. Artprice is the only company in the world with full biographies and index data for these artists. Hence the fact that the primary and secondary markets are constantly on Artprice in both free and paid access. To illustrate the backwardness of the older generation, I will give you a very telling anecdote: the President of a leading French auction houses told me he was thinking this summer about the Internet, and he said « … given that we have now exceeded 200 million internet connections in the world… ». It’s terrifying to hear such nonsense from such a distinguished and otherwise learned CEO; the number of Internet users worldwide is today well over 2.5 billion! The old guard is indeed a long way behind reality.

Boursica: Under the « key person » section of the chapter on « Risk Factors » in your Registration Document, we learn that you have yourself been an artist-sculptor for 30 years. Is this intimate knowledge of artists a special advantage?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Yes indeed, my status as a sculptor-artist allows me to be at the heart of the arts community and to understand its evolution, its changing needs, its problems and its ambitions.

Boursica: Do you still find time to produce works?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Absolutely! For example, I just finished this summer a monumental 50 ton installation of 99 steel sculptures called Les Sentinelles Alchimiques (The Alchemical Sentinels) on 9000 m² that envelop like a Duchampian infra-mince my 3600 works comprising the corpus of the « Abode of Chaos » (dixit The New York Times), which is also the headquarters of Artprice and Server Group. It is currently one of the largest sculptural installations in Europe.

Boursica: How long has it taken the market to increase tenfold?

Thierry Ehrmann:
In less than 20 years we have moved from traditional oil paintings for which the drying-time on the canvas took months to a world of acrylic paint and technological and industrial innovations that allows sculptures and installations to be produced in weeks not months. Hence the volume of artworks produced in the world has been multiplied by 20 in less than 25 years. The explosion of this market – which now affects a multitude of generations and social statuses with nearly 300 million non-professional buyers, collectors and art professionals – is being fuelled by the falling unit production cost of the artworks, making them accessible to a much broader public.

Boursica: We still see very large price swings for works produced by young artists?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Yes that’s true, but these young artists, via the Internet and thanks to our Standardized Marketplace, where each has a dedicated space, know how to adapt very quickly to the market correction, by reducing their production or by moving to continents where there is a stronger economic growth. Facing them is a generation of old players who are sometimes forced to stop sales or block already printed catalogues because the price correction can occur much faster than it takes to organise a conventional auction sale, which requires a minimum of 4 to 9 months preparation. Ultimately, today’s artists have acquired, intuitively, a reaction to the market close to that of the best merchants. The myth of the « cursed artist » is gone forever.

Boursica: Is this one of the things that attracts most of the entire world’s auction houses to Artprice?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Of course, the auction houses, with Artprice’s Standardized Marketplace, will be able to build or modify their auctions on a daily basis through our secure intranet, literally sticking to the market with the certainty of growing sales in our ultra-qualified client database, which is the largest in the world today. So what used to take six months – i.e. organising a successful auction sale in proper conditions – now takes several days for both the buyer and the seller, and, with the certainty of settling the sale and transferring the cash within just a few days.

Boursica: How far will Artprice disseminate its information, free or paid?

Thierry Ehrmann:
We have colossal resources in terms of servers and bandwidth overcapacity, because we are, through Server Group, our own operator; we distribute our data free or in rare cases with very low prices to academic establishments, art schools around the world, artists’ associations, copyright companies, art historians, researchers, etc … I don’t mind saying that we aim to make any person in the world that has any relation to the art market or art history an addict of Artprice. In 2010, Artprice provided free data for nearly 54 million visitors. As long as we do not lose money, we are perfectly happy to create this addiction that has penetrated almost all the institutional and private organizations interested in art around the world. You have to be very patient, but with the growth of the Internet, Robert Metcalfe’s law applies: « the usefulness of a network is proportional to the square of the number of its users. »

Boursica: Following the first interview, you had a dispute with Artnet. What was that about?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Artnet, which is not in the same business as us, had to lower its guard on the comments contained in the interview (that we maintain in every way) as we have launched proceedings against them for violation of our intellectual property rights. By the way, I would like to adjust what I said in the first interview by indicating that in a single trading day Artprice represents a volume of transactions in the year 2011 equivalent to about 3 months of trading Artnet. In addition, we note that Artnet exited the official market in September to enter the free market in Germany, which is a terrible regression for both its shareholders and for the company.

Boursica: Speaking of the stock market, how is Artprice doing?

Thierry Ehrmann:
At 5 October 2011, Artprice posted the best stock market performance on the French regulated market with +158% and a total transaction volume of more than 702 million euros since 1 January 2011. Once again, the market is an instinctive animal. These figures clearly indicate that the market has made its own investigation, commissioned its own studies and investigations at the heart of the Art Market. You do not exchange 700 million euros in nine months of transactions by accident, especially during the worst stock market crash in history. In old stock market lingo, I would say that we spoke the truth to the market, and the market has fully heard and replied in both volume and price.

Boursica: Are your targets the same as in our first interview in June 2011, despite the crash this summer?

Thierry Ehrmann:
Absolutely! I am strongly maintaining our targets communicated in June 2011, namely, that the price has first of all returned to the levels reached in 2005/2006, i.e. 30 euros when we started talking about the transposition of the Services Directive. This price was a simple return to normal before France decided to exasperate Europe for 5 years by its pathetic refusal to transpose the reform of the auction market, particularly, the electronic aspect. I seriously maintain that our target price should be at least 67 euros which was our highest quoted price before the creation of the Standardized Marketplace in 2005. We have fulfilled all the commitments of our listing prospectus. In fact we are way ahead of the commitments in the 1999 prospectus. I remind you that we have reached 58 euros, in very substantial volumes, and there are still three months to go…
I therefore reiterate that the old stock market adage: « price seen, price re-seen » is indeed a market reality. Artprice has proved that this adage applies to it beyond any doubt… even in times of crisis.

Boursica: In all honesty, what is your vision of the Western economy?

Thierry Ehrmann:
I will answer you simply by quoting the theorist Antonio Gramsci « there is a crisis when the old world will not die and the new world cannot be born ». Remaining with the metaphor, « the world is one big family in which in Europe I find an old friend plagued by a long incurable disease. Then in Asia, I am faced with a teenager full of energy and insolence, and as I return to the States, I see an obese man who refuses to see his condition and continues his bulimic frenzy ». These words should make us understand that the crisis is now existential and it requires additional soul and history, without which we are heading straight into the wall.

Boursica: News being what it is, what do you think of Steve Jobs who has just died?

Thierry Ehrmann:
He was simply iconoclastic and had the ability to accomplish his dreams by embodying them in the computer industry that is indeed a merciless arena. His passion allowed him to imagine and conceptualize the 21st century. I would describe him more as a philosopher of the digital age and of nomadism than as an entrepreneur. I am sure that where he is today, he is already preparing the version 9.0 of the tri-dimensional iPad 7G!

Boursica: Please allow me to repeat the question I asked you in the first interview: do you have a prediction for the future of Artprice?

Thierry Ehrmann:
I reiterate that we have kept our commitments beyond the listing prospectus of 1999, passing through the crisis of the NASDAQ in 2000, the attacks of 11 September 2001, the Iraq war of 2003, the huge financial crisis that started in 2007 and that has now become a colossal state debt debacle. I know very few companies listed on the regulated market that have survived without ever having carried out capital increases, and which have gained, during this period, a world leader position! Compared with the June 2011 interview, I change my position concerning the future of Artprice because in view of the agreements and contacts that we have built in the three months since the adoption of the Law of 20 July 2011, I believe we have reached only 5% of Artprice’s story, and I believe that henceforward much of our future history will be in Asia.

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