According to news reports, Phillips has sold a majority stake to the Moscow-based Mercury Group, a luxury retailer and owner of the TSUM department store. Simon De Pury will retain his stake and position. How this capital infusion and change in governance might impact the photography department is unclear, but I think we can safely assume offices will open in Moscow and Russian collectors will be a renewed focus.
Perhaps now will be the point when the firm finally sharpens its strategy once and for all. Imagine what might happen in the photography department if it were to actually devote its energies solely to the contemporary market (with a hard and fast rule of no photography before say 1970). Then things might just get interesting.
The report in the Financial Times is here.