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Momart bought by Falkland Island Holdings

The shipping and storage company has been in hot water since the east London fire

The art shipping and storage company, Momart, which stores and transports art for customers including Tate in London, the UBS collection, and artists Damien Hirst and Antony Gormley, has been sold to Falkland Islands Holdings (FIH) for £10.3m ($21m). FIH is the parent company of several retail outlets in the Falkland Islands that sell items ranging from cornflakes to cement and Land Rovers. It also operates a ferry service in the UK. The group is to retain Momart’s key management and staff (the main beneficiaries of the cash and shares deal) and plans to expand the business overseas. In 2004, a fire at Momart’s storage facility in east London destroyed works by artists including Gillian Ayres, Damien Hirst, Jake and Dinos Chapman and Chris Ofili, many of these from the collection of Charles Saatchi. Insurance claims against the company, mounted in a group legal action that alleged negligence, were believed to amount to around £20m ($37m) and were settled out of court in 2006.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 190 April 2008