Artprice announces aggressive new internet strategy and IPO project

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Artprice's new website

The Artprice Group is to launch its 100%-owned subsidiary Artprice Inc. under the new name Artmarket.com on the Nasdaq (NSCM), or “any other Anglo-Saxon market where online art auctions are governed by a coherent set of regulations vis-à-vis the digital economy,” it announced yesterday.

In a release, Artprice criticised France’s Council of Voluntary Sales (CVV) for doing “everything possible for three years to block the development of this activity, particularly at Artprice and Ebay, by creating legal barriers, despite the European Directive ending the public auction monopoly that has existed since 1556.”

It said that the CVV’s stance towards Artprice is a brake on the growth of the digital economy.

Also read: Which art price data provider should you use?

The Artprice Group, which will remain headquartered in France and listed on the Paris stock exchange, will use its American subsidiary Artprice Inc. USA (formerly Sound View Press, founded in 1976), renamed Artmarket.com as the basis for its new online auction activity.

“Artprice wishes to re-iterate that this development (the listing of Artmarket.com) will have no dilutive impact on existing Artprice shareholders, who should logically benefit from the operation,” it said in the statement.

In the context of this extremely rigorous IPO project, Artmarket.com’s target – depending on stock market, art market and global economic conditions at the time – would be to raise a low estimate of between USD 90 and 120 million, on about 30% of the capital, with the remaining 70% remaining in the hands of the Artprice Group.

The future website of Artprice will include new methods of payment including the kiosk system. In this system Artprice will place its databanks at the heart of the 4G, 4G+ and LTE (Long Term Evolution) operators without any risk of third party piracy. “Of course, 4G, 4G+  and LTE  kiosks in the USA and Asia represent a significant source of growth for Artprice in the longer term (via the payment system used by Apple iTunes for example),  especially with the ongoing consolidation of the Telecoms sector,” it stated.

With its new websites launched on November 18, 2014, in six languages (English, French, Chinese, German, Italian and Spanish) and its new web and “mobile first” version giving access to all its databases, Artprice has observed a 37% increase in traffic albeit over a very short comparison period. Nevertheless, the outlook for 2015 already looks very positive, it said.

According to Artprice’s CEO and Founder, Thierry Ehrmann, the entire family of new websites has been designed so that clients get access to an optimized version of Artprice, with highly intuitive ergonomics.

Finally, since December 18, 2014, Artprice has successfully completed the transfer of route servers to Singapore with Chinese IP identification codes.

Artprice said the move will allow it to gain access to the heart of the Chinese Intranet (dubbed The Great Firewall in China and under the control of state authorities) and to develop closer ties with its key partners such as Artron and with the national search engines and portals. Artprice has 27 million pages online in Mandarin.