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Speculation regarding the future of Gavelnet (who in April acquired UK Internet portal for dealers, Antiques Portfolio) arose in recent weeks after UK operations were suspended, but on June 22 it was formally announced that TAG, who are also based in Philadelphia and Chicago, had acquired the start-up company as part of a programme of acquisitions.

Michael Haynes – president and chief operating officer of Gavelnet.com, who now assumes the presidency of TAG – told the Antiques Trade Gazette that he would be “giving priority to the acquisition of traditional and online firms based in the UK and in the US”.

Other projects, including the completion of the agreement with Antiques Portfolio and the launch of their own US TV channel will be delayed, but Mr Haynes expects that their London offices (currently incommunicado) will be back in operation within two weeks.

Michael Thompson-Glover, former chairman of Sotheby’s Sussex, who took on the job of vice president of business development in Europe for Gavelnet in October 1999 when the firm started trading in the UK, has left his job but has been offered a consultancy role.