Online auction house is acquired by private equity funds managed by Castik Capital
TBAuctions on path to becoming Europe’s largest online auction platform
TBAuctions, created in 2018 via the merger of Troostwijk Auctions (B2B auctions) and BVA Auctions (B2C auctions), will be acquired by funds managed by Castik Capital, a manager of private equity funds focused on partnering with strong management teams to create market leaders through organic growth and buy & build. The acquisition will enable one of TBAuctions to accelerate its growth across the European online auction market through continued organic expansion supplemented by strategic acquisitions. Since the merger in 2018, TBAuctions has made significant investments in developing a state-of-the-art, scalable IT platform called ATLAS, which enables the business to scale and integrate future acquisitions across Europe seamlessly.
The proposed acquisition is still subject to approval by the Works Council and The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), the closing is expected at the end of this year.
Leading online auction platform
ATLAS is a clear differentiator for TBAuctions to drive the growth of the online auction space. “We see that other auction houses could only facilitate their growth and transition from physical auctions to online auctions by making substantial investments in their IT”, says Herberth Samsom, CEO of TBAuctions. “Together with the support of Castik Capital we can become one of the leading European online auction platforms. I foresee continued growth of the online auction market in Europe, in which TBAuctions will play a prominent role.”
Powerful backbone with many storefronts
The growth ambition of TBAuctions, which is already present in eight European countries, has already led to an increasing pace of add-on acquisitions. The most recent is the acquisition of the Belgian company Vavato, one of the largest online auction players in the Belgian B2B and B2C market. Just like Troostwijk Auctions and BVA Auctions, Vavato will continue to operate with its own brand and online storefront within the TBAuctions group. This perfectly fits the strategy of TBAuctions of using its own scalable IT platform to auction everything from small consumer goods to complete industrial inventories and real property. Acquired companies are quickly and efficiently integrated onto the TBAuctions IT backbone, and can thus immediately benefit from the scale and efficiency as well as marketing and back-office support of TBAuctions. For sellers this means unparalleled service and a larger addressable market, and for buyers an even greater diversity of offered items.
According to Michael Phillips, Investment Partner at Castik Capital, TBAuctions plays an important role in the global move towards a circular economy. “Sustainable consumption – which TBAuctions is actively driving through finding new homes for second hand and second chance goods – is at the heart of the global ESG agenda. Castik is proud to support TBAuctions’ mission and believes that the company is uniquely positioned to establish itself as one of Europe’s leading online auction platforms. Especially now, as we are facing a scarcity of equipment availability due to supply chain disruptions, TBAuctions is the online platform that brings together supply and demand in Europe and beyond. We are proud that we can make an important contribution to this with our most recent partnership investment in TBAuctions.”
“After the merger in 2018, we focused strongly on organic growth of sellers and bidders and the efficiency of our processes. The most important aspect of this was the development of our proprietary IT Platform ATLAS,” says Samsom. “If you look at the digitization of e-commerce in general, it is striking that the world of ‘second hand’ is lagging behind in terms of level of digitization. This offers us unique opportunities in the marketplace. We are now ready to accelerate our growth together with our new partner Castik Capital. Castik is known for investing strongly in both organic and inorganic growth which perfectly resonates with our ambitions and goals. “
In an extensive market due diligence carried out by Castik Capital, it was found that the European online auction market is highly fragmented and comprises largely of ‘local champions’ with strong regional focus and limited international scale. The exciting vision that emerged is that “we are at the beginning of a potential pan-European market consolidation, which is underpinned by technological development.” Michael Phillips of Castik Capital said. “TBAuctions is uniquely positioned via its state-of-the-art ATLAS platform in actively driving accelerated organic and inorganic growth.”
TBAuctions’ management team and employees will remain significant shareholders in the group. The management has unanimously indicated that it wants to drive market-leading growth in the coming years. Samsom: “For now we will first concentrate all our efforts on the fragmented European auction market. After that, we will see where our journey takes us.”
TBAuctions was advised by Rothschild & Co
Castik was advised by BCG, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Emendo, PwC, Houthoff, Netlight, Houlihan Lokey, and Etribes.