Art book publisher Phaidon Press announced today that it has purchased Internet startup Artspace.com, an online marketplace for fine art.
Artspace had been in talks that fell through last week to merge with Berlin-based online-only auctioneer Auctionata, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Auctionata valued the company at $5 million.
The acquisition, by a Phaidon affiliate company, will enable the press to establish a global community for art enthusiasts and professionals. Phaidon will be able to increase its direct access to global art collectors, who are also consumers of its art and design books and multimedia products. Artspace will benefit from Phaidon’s global distribution and retail presence, sales organization, and relationships with artists and those in the design community.
“We are thrilled with the investment,” commented Phaidon CEO Keith Fox. “We look forward to enriching the experience of our audience and expanding our reach through new initiatives, including retail presence, product development, and the joint creation of original content.”
The purchase of Artspace isn’t the only investment that Phaidon’s billionaire owner Leon Black, chairman and CEO of Apollo Global Management, made this summer. Last month he invested in the iPad application ArtBinder Inc., used in more than 300 galleries.