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Artprice Launches its Online Auctions

January 3, 2012

PARIS, January 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –

As announced in previous press releases, Artprice, with its 1.3 million members in
more than 90 countries, and in its capacity as an online auction broker (“operateur de
courtage aux encheres realisees a distance par voie electronique”, Article 5 of French Law
no. 2011-850 of 20 July 2011) will be launching its online auctions service on 18 January
2012.

Since 27 December 2011, Artprice members have been able to prepare their ads in order
to gain the maximum benefit from the visibility of Artprice’s global launch campaign. For
further information please visit: http://web.artprice.com/classifieds/info?l=en

Although more than 90% of the art market was closed between Christmas and the New
Year, Artprice has already registered several thousand lots for sale. Our initial client
feedback suggests that users find the service very quick and simple to use.

According to thierry Ehrmann, the founder and CEO of Artprice, “the train of History
is now definitively rolling and Artprice is on that train, which nothing can stop from now
on. It took twelve years and lots of patience and conviction to pursue a legal battle
against a 500 year-old monopoly that is today demolished”. Breaking this monopoly is a
victory for Artprice; but it is also beneficial to France that has been losing its
attractiveness as an art market for over 40 years, slipping from the first to the fourth
position, and which, this year, with the help of Artprice, can hope to recover a position
worthy of its tradition and its influence on the art market.

On Monday 2 January 2012, Artprice launched a global campaign in art and financial
media, focused on the USA, Europe and Asia, alongside a “viral marketing” campaign on the
Internet.

On Monday 9 January 2012, Artprice will start the presentation of lots to be auctioned
in chronological harmony with the art market which, every year, kicks off in the second
week of January.

A level of security rarely attained on the Internet.

Our alliance with Escrow.com, the global leader in the management of escrow accounts,
provides a 100% guarantee of security and payment for the parties to all transactions. The
service provided by Escrow.com has been specifically tailored to meet all of Artprice’s
rigorous requirements. Artprice’s capacity to offer 100% transaction security relies on
its excellent knowledge of the digital economy and developments in the fields of
information technology and Internet law. Indeed, we can affirm with complete confidence
that the security of Artprice’s online auctions and other services is greater than that
offered by traditional auctions and non-internet transactions.

Artprice works on the fundamental principle of perfectly identified members and, via
an agreement with INTERPOL, buyers can access at any moment the latter’s international
Stolen Works of Art database to check if a work being offered for sale is subject to any
legal dispute or search warrant.

Unlike certain well-known general online auction companies, Artprice imposes a
permanent legal presence on its clientele to ensure the smooth operation of its online
auction brokerage activities via its Standardised Marketplace. Artprice’s contacts over
the past 5 years with approximately 70 criminal investigation departments around the world
has allowed Artprice to build an unrivalled level of Internet confidence that is
strengthened by its constant collaboration with artists, beneficiaries and experts.

The real strength of Artprice is its use of an escrow and payment release system for
which Artprice has conceptualised all possible legal scenarios to ensure that completed
transactions are legally irreversible and to provide a level of security rarely attained
in the Internet sphere. This escrow system functions on exactly the same principle as that
used by solicitors and lawyers for various kinds of transactions.

The very low commissions charged by Artprice completely alter the dynamic of the art
market.

Art professionals, collectors and beneficiaries will be inexorably drawn to use
Artprice’s service because its low commissions modify the fundamental reality of the
secondary art market. Its rates decrease from 9% to 5% depending on the value (in USD) of
the transaction: 9% from 0 to 7,500 dollars; 7% from 7,500.01 to 15,000 dollars and 5% for
transactions over 15,000.01 dollars. According to thierry Ehrmann, the 5% rate for works
offered at over 15,000.01 euros could attract entire sections of the Art market to this
modus operandi because works in that price bracket are perfectly standardised and have
been bought and sold for nearly 30 years, almost always “remotely”, in view of the legal
documents that vendors are obliged to produce on Artprice.

In parallel, Artprice is setting up white labels for major players in the art market,
notably Auction Houses, that will use Artprice and its Standardised Marketplace as their
technical host for online auctions, thereby providing Artprice -which is not an
auctioneer- with another source of income.

Artprice is therefore open to demand from over 3,600 client and partner auctioneers
and more than 7,400 art valuers who have already concretely manifested their vital need to
join Artprice’s standardised marketplace in order to maintain their positions in the
global art market and survive the necessary transition to a dematerialised art auction
environment.

Internet, and more generally the digital revolution, has literally destroyed the
global mono-economy of physical auction rooms, which today are just one channel for
auctioneers to use and which -usually located in city centres- either represent an
expensive (and now superfluous) rental cost or an under-exploited real estate asset.

In the context of a deeper than ever global economic and financial crisis, Artprice
has once again -as in 2008- observed a very sharp increase in the number of works offered
for sale through its Standardised Marketplace, with an acceleration of buy-to-sell
operations. We can therefore assume that auction sales will follow the same growth path.
Indeed, we are of the view that the economic and financial crisis represents a strong
growth opportunity for Artprice’s Standardised Marketplace.

In fact, the history of the art market – like all markets – is naturally heading
towards the circuits that are the fastest, the least expensive, the most liquid, where the
price can be obtained in real-time and where there is a critical mass of participants with
- of course – access to transparent information on all prices and indices.

Artprice’s Standardised Marketplace meets these five specific and vital needs for a
modern market. Artprice, with its completely toll-free access model for its Standardised
Marketplace, is absorbing the global market of private art sales faster than initially
expected. With our extremely attractive rates we now expect to see the same pace of growth
with our online auction service.

Over nearly 7 years Artprice has seen exponential growth of the offer on its
Standardised Marketplace (the annual figures are available in Artprice’s 2010 Registration
Document and online at the AMF under number D.11-0784 since 25 August 2011). In 2010,
Artprice confirmed a total volume of artworks offered worth nearly 6.3 billion euros with
a sales rate of approximately one third, for which Artprice received no commission.

We should point out that only Artprice holds and protects, as intellectual property,
the entire process for joining the Standardised Marketplace(R) and for side-stepping the
traditional system of physical auction rooms. Indeed, the situation may justifiably be
compared to the old Stock Exchanges before the arrival of the ECNs (Electronic
Communication Network) that made the outcry halls redundant on the majority of the world’s
major stock markets, primarily by reducing the intermediation costs.

Art… a veritable safe haven investment in times of major crisis.

The economic and business media (Le Monde, The New York Times, the F.T. the A.F.P.,
Reuters, Bloomberg, etc.) regularly indicate that quality art represents a genuine safe
haven in major crises. Artprice, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and the major international
auctioneers also confirm the safe haven status of artworks (c.f. the Agefi’s interview
with Artprice). In fact, despite the sombre economic and financial global context in 2011,
the global art market posted extremely positive figures both in terms of volumes and
prices in all countries, and numerous artists in Artprice’s global Top 500 posted new
records.

This confidence is manifest on all continents. Like gold, artworks have for centuries
been defensive investments in major crises and particularly in the context of sharp
meltdowns in financial asset values such as those that the global economy is likely to
continue experiencing in 2012/2013.

Artprice will soon be announcing alliances that will allow a presence on all
continents with local partners.

The future of Artprice in 2012 and of the Art Market is unavoidably linked to Asia.

Artprice was the first press agent in the world to announce and certify figures in
2011 showing that China had unquestionably become the world’s leading art marketplace
ahead of the USA in 2011. Artprice’s figures for 2011 have already confirmed China’s
domination of the global art market for the second consecutive year.

There is therefore an irresistible logic to Artprice’s patient preparation for the
opening of its subsidiary and clean rooms in Hong Kong that will be a testing ground for
the People’s Republic of China and an entry point for Asia. Hong Kong is already one of
the top five global art marketplaces. Likewise, agreements with major players such as
online auction operators and major Asian art fairs will allow Artprice to extend the
diffusion initiated in 2011 of its Asia-specific art market reports, country by country.
As a simple example, Singapore should soon overtake France in the field of Contemporary
Art sales. In this context Artprice and Art Stage Singapore, Asia’s largest Contemporary
Art Fair (along with Art HK), have decided to intensify their editorial partnership and
their marketing strategy in 2012. Artprice will also be a strategic partner with Art HK
(Hong Kong).

The Internet’s absolute domination of the art market in 2012.

In 2012 Internet is therefore just a simple extension of the 1980s telephonic order
with, in addition, a perfect reproduction of the work for the buyer and Artprice’s
remarkable success is proof of this…. there remained therefore a final step and indeed
the hardest step: the standardisation of the marketplace that Artprice has achieved in 14
years by imposing its unique and free standard via its Standardised Marketplace (R).

From 1987 to 2004, Artprice’s databanks became the reference in this area and made
Artprice the global leader in standardised art market information before it turned to the
problem of market dematerialisation. This latter project fully exploits the
standardisation represented by its 18 databases, fed by acquisitions around the world of
publishers and art archives.

All of the industrial processes forming Artprice’s databanks are patent protected,
notably by the A.P.P. (Agence de Protection des Programmes). These industrial processes
standardise the Art Market (artist ID, work ID, catalogue raisonne ID, bibliography ID,
estimate/econometric info ID.) with more than 180 million data entries and proprietary
indices.

This globally unique knowledge is clearly explained in Artprice’s corporate video in
five languages: http://web.artprice.com/video

Artprice posted the best French stock market progression in 2011 and has filed a
request for admission to compartment B of Euronext Paris.

Despite the crisis affecting stock market’s, Artprice’s share price outperformed in
2011 with an astonishing increase of +472% since 1 January 2011, on the back of a traded
volume of approximately 873 million euros, i.e. an average daily volume of 3.2 million
euros. This increase was the best performance on the regulated French Eurolist by Euronext
markets (compartments A, B, C).

As Artprice satisfied all the admission criteria for admission to Compartment B in
2011, it is preparing its admission request for registration on compartment B of Eurolist
to be filed with the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) along with the presentation
of its candidacy to the NYSE Euronext Scientific Committee for Indices to be included in
the indices relating to Compartment B.

In order to understand the legislative evolution of the art market over five centuries
and the impact of recent changes on Artprice, we invite our shareholders and the market to
read the 72 short and pedagogical questions and answers that form the basis of the
interviews conducted in June and October of 2011. Hyperlinks to Actusnews (a professional
regulated information provider licensed by the AMF):

http://www.actusnews.com/communique.php?ID=ACTUS-0-25689

Lastly, Artprice invites its new and future shareholders who would like to acquaint
themselves with the history of the Company to consult its highly detailed regulated
information in its 2010 Registration Document filed and online at the AMF under D.11-0784
since 25 August 2011. Artprice, with more than 12 years of regulated disclosure on
Eurolist, is proud of the high quality of the information it provides to financial market
professionals and art market novices. All the questions of Artprice’s 18,000 shareholders
are systematically answered in Artprice’s regulated disclosures that its posts online on
its own website and on that of its AMF-authorised financial information provider,
ActusNews.com.

Source: http://www.artprice.com (c)1987-2012 thierry Ehrmann

Artprice is the global leader in databank on Art prices and indices with more than 27
million indices and auction results covering 450,000 Artists. Artprice Images(R) gives
unlimited access to the largest Art Market resource in the world, a library of 108 million
images or engravings of artworks from 1700 to the present day along with comments by
Artprice’s art historians. Artprice permanently enriches its databanks with information
from 3,600 auctioneers and publishes a constant flow of art market trends for the main
news agencies and 6,300 international written media. For its 1.3 million members (member
log in), Artprice posts standardized adverts in what is today the world’s leading
Standardised Marketplace(R) for buying and selling works of Art (source Artprice).

Artprice is listed on Eurolist by Euronext Paris: Euroclear: 7478 – Bloomberg : PRC -
Reuters: ARTF

        List of Artprice press releases:

http://serveur.serveur.com/press_release/pressreleasefr.htm

        Discover alchemy and Artprice's universe on http://web.artprice.com/video
        Follow all of the art market's news with Artprice on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/artpricedotcom

Contact: Josette Mey – tel: +33(0)478-220-000, email: ir@artprice.com

SOURCE Artprice.com


Source: PR Newswire