James Murdoch's Firm Takes Stake In Art Basel Owner

James Murdoch - Getty - H 2018
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MCH Group, the owner of the global art fair platform, voted on Aug. 3 to add the mogul to its board and allow the investment.

Days after resigning from News Corp.'s board of directors, James Murdoch has been approved to join the board of the owner of Art Basel as his firm takes a stake in the company. 

MCH Group, the owner of the global art fair platform, disclosed Monday that its board of directors had voted to approve Murdoch's firm, Lupa Systems, to invest in the company and voted to add the mogul to its board. 

"We are very pleased that our future fellow shareholders have approved Lupa System’s entry into the MCH Group," Murdoch said in a statement. "As a long-term anchor investor and on the Board of Directors, we will do our utmost to contribute to the successful turnaround and further strategic development of the company, rewarding the trust placed in us."

MCH Group holds Art Basel in Switzerland, as well events in Miami and Hong Kong that typically draw thousands of visitors along with art collectors, buyers and exhibitors. (The Art Basel event in Switzerland was canceled this year and delayed until 2021, but the event in Miami is currently still scheduled for December.) 

The move marks the latest effort by Murdoch's Lupa Systems to invest in the global events business. Last August, his firm partnered with Attention Capital to nab a majority stake in the organizers of the Tribeca Film Festival from the Madison Square Garden Company and Tribeca co-founder Craig Hatkoff.

Murdoch founded Lupa Systems in March 2019 after exiting his role as CEO of 21st Century Fox following the $71.3 billion sale of most of Fox assets to Disney. 

Since that time, Lupa, which has offices in New York and Mumbai, has made multiple media and technology investments including taking stakes in Vice Media, data intelligence firm Morning Consult, comics publisher Artists Writers & Artisans, virtual reality firm The Void and tech platform Betalab.

On July 31, Murdoch resigned from News Corp. — his father Rupert Murdoch's publishing business that owns The Wall Street Journal as well as the New York Post and other publications — citing disagreements with its direction. Murdoch, who had sat on the board for seven years, said in a statement:  "My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions."