On the afternoon of July 17, a bidder, described by taxi insiders as a financial-industry player, snapped up 60 medallions at an auction in Queens. The price came to $6.63 million, or $110,500 per medallion (not including the 6% buyer’s premium).

Medallions values have plunged more than 80% since Uber and its competitors began grabbing market share in 2014.

Private-equity firms have been circling for the past two years as prices have continued to fall. Marblegate Asset Management of Greenwich, Conn. has acquired more than 300 medallions, starting with purchases at an auction in September 2017.

The firms have different strategies for how to profit from the medallions, according to insiders, but agree that taxis have a future as a key part of New York’s transportation infrastructure. Some see their interest as a bet on the industry’s eventual recovery.

“There are multiple players now – it’s not just Marblegate,” said Matthew Daus, a former Taxi and Limousine Commission chair and partner at the Windels Marx law firm. “This is a positive sign.”

Bulk sales typically fetch lower prices per placard than individual sales. The week prior to the July 17 auction at another Maltz Auctions sale, only three medallions out of 16 ended up selling. The top price was $138,000.

Source:Crain’s New York Business

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