Sotheby’s to bring back overseas earnings

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The New York auction house Sotheby’s has scrapped its dividend and announced plans to bring overseas earnings back into the US.

Both moves are designed to help fund a share buyback programme, which the company increased in size by $200m. The auction house has been under pressure from activist investors to return more cash to shareholders and buoy earnings.

The decision to bring back $381m of accumulated overseas earnings to the US left Sotheby’s with a charge of up to $68m, which will help push the auction house to a loss of between $10m and $19m in the final quarter of last year, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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