Art for art’s sake

Finweek English Edition - - COMPANIES&MARKETS -

FINWEEK IS CER­TAIN the ears of many KWV share­hold­ers would have pricked up at the news an Irma Stern paint­ing sold for R34m on auc­tion in Lon­don last week. Aside from its sprawl­ing prop­er­ties and brand stocks, KWV’s art col­lec­tion was one of the so­called her­itage as­sets that caught the eye when the as­set reg­is­ter came un­der scrutiny dur­ing the re­cent Pi­o­neer Foods takeover bid.

Aside from valu­able paint­ings by Ce­cil Skotnes, Maggie Laub­ser and Gre­goire Boon­zaier, there was an Irma Stern that re­port­edly so en­chanted the late (great) An­ton Ru­pert that the Rem­brandt founder ap­par­ently left a blank cheque with KWV. If KWV’s Stern could fetch any­thing near R30m, the price tag would rep­re­sent a value that was three times more than the profit from con­tin­u­ing op­er­a­tions shown by the com­pany in its half-year to end-De­cem­ber 2010.

Finweek won­ders what KWV’s new share­holder of ref­er­ence Hosken Con­sol­i­dated In­vest­ments (HCI, a com­pany known not to en­dure cor­po­rate frills) thinks of hav­ing so much cap­i­tal hang­ing on a wall…

IRMA STERN’S ‘Arab Pri­est’ fetches record R34 mil­lion at Lon­don auc­tion

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