Cohen Buys $101 Million Sculpture

Nov 12 2014 | 9:17am ET

Two years ago, Art & Auction magazine removed Steven Cohen from its Power 100 list, reasoning that—in the face of the insider-trading probe that cost his hedge fund $1.8 billion in settlements—he had “turned from being an acquirer to being a seller.” Well, the SAC Capital Advisors founder may have turned again.

Cohen was the sole bidder who paid $101 million for a rare Alberto Giacometti sculpture at Sotheby’s in New York last week, The New York Times reports. And he may have gotten something of a bargain, even at nine figures: The price—and lack of interest—was something of a disappointment; the sculpture, “Chariot,” was widely expected to garner a great deal of interest and to break the $104.3 million record set for the artist four years ago.

Cohen worked through Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art chief David Norman.

The purchase is the first big splash in the art market Cohen’s made since early last year, when he bought a famed Pablo Picasso painting, “Le Rêve,” for $150 million. Since then, he has been in the news primarily for selling parts of his impressive collection amidst the probe into insider-trading at SAC and the fallout from the firm’s guilty plea, including its transition to a family office called Point72 Asset Management. Last November, he sought to sell some $80 million worth of art, although several pieces failed to find buyers.

Cohen hasn’t stopped selling, though: Tomorrow, a Franz Kline canvas owned by the billionaire goes on the block at Christie’s. “King Oliver” is expected to fetch between $25 million and $30 million. Cohen has owned the 1958 painting for just two years, buying it for $25 million in a private transaction, and may be hoping to capitalize on a surge in interest—and prices—for the American abstract expressionist’s work.

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