Murdoch invests £65 million to become ‘anchor shareholder’ of Baselworld owner MCH Group

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Decimation of this year’s event and exhibition calendar was the final nail in the coffin for Baselworld, but its MCH Group stablemate Art Basel is on firmer ground and likely to be the key attraction for James Murdoch and his private equity firm Lupa Systems, which sealed an investment of CHF 74.5 million (£65 million) into the group this week.

The deal makes Mr Murdoch MCH’s new “anchor shareholder”, and has secured seats on the board for himself and Lupa executives Eleni Lionaki and Jeff Palker.

“At a time when the entire exhibitions industry faces enormous challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a very positive development,” says Marc Spiegler, Art Basel’s global director.

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“The measures approved today are crucial steps towards strengthening the financial position of MCH Group, Art Basel’s parent company,” he adds.

Having abandoned any attempts to revive a show under the Baselworld name, MCH Group instead announced the launch of HourUniverse, a watch, jewellery, gems and equipment show that will take place in Basel in April, 2021.

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Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder