Art Basel’s Parent Company, MCH Group, Cuts Regional Fairs Amid Major Losses
November 2, 2018
Conflicting messages on Art SG. What a mess.
“Sandy Angus, chairman of Angus Montgomery Arts, the exhibition company that owns stakes in the India Art Fair, Art Central in Hong Kong, and Photofairs Shanghai, and was slated to help launch Art SG in partnership with MCH Group and the fair producer Tim Etchells, said he disagrees with MCH’s decision and believes that there are still significant opportunities in regional fairs....HE WAS NOT ABLE TO SAY WHETHER ART SG WOULD CONTINUE ON WITHOUT MCH (Hoejsgaard said he was confident it would).
...In its current situation, MCH Group simply does not have the resources required for further expansion of the participation portfolio with regional art fairs...these significant cuts are the first step in a comprehensive review of the entire group’s initiatives aimed at renewing financial stability.
....MCH asked Art Basel to hold its Unlimited section upstairs in Hall 1 of the Messe Basel this past June, so that the watch booths could remain intact downstairs year round. Nonetheless, in July, Swatch Group, the fair’s biggest client with 18 individual brands, cut all ties to Baselworld and released a fiery statement from its CEO, who accused fair directors of being snobby, arrogant, and unable to do new things. Several other brands followed, and in September, MCH Group announced that losses could exceed $100 million. Then-CEO René Kamm exited the company days after Swatch Group’s announcement.”