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High tech whizz kids beat Rizzoli to purchase Phaidon

Mark Futter and Richard Schlagman are the new owners of Phaidon Press, the jewel in the crown of Musterlin, which collapsed in October.

Oxford

Both in their mid thirties, Futter and Schlagman (the latter a collector of twentieth-century art) founded an electronics company after leaving university, then took over Bush Radios, which they floated in 1984, and sold in 1986 for £16 million ($30,400,000). They are rumoured to have paid £5 million ($9,500,000) for Phaidon, whose last annual turnover was also £5 million. Their purchase includes Phaidon’s stock of best-selling Gombrich titles, and an archive dating back to the company’s early years in Vienna in the 1920s. Managing Director Geoff Cowen, who, along with the entire Phaidon staff, is to be retained, says that “competition for the company was fierce, and I am delighted that the company remains in independent hands”. Rizzoli are known to have been keen bidders.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 3 December 1990