ATG takes on new investment and welcomes Proxibid
As part of its long term growth strategy, Auction Technology Group (“ATG”) has today taken on new investment from TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm. TA Associates has simultaneously acquired Proxibid, a provider of online auction services to auctioneers of industrial assets in the United States, whose services complement those of ATG’s existing marketplaces.
TA Associates now holds a majority stake in the combined entity. ECI Partners (“ECI”), the current owners of ATG, have also retained a significant stake in the company.
Proxibid and ATG will sit under the ATG umbrella with headquarters in London, but retain substantial operations in Omaha, Nebraska, where Proxibid is headquartered. Both management teams are excited about the combination and believe their collective resources will benefit auctioneers and bidders through increased technology investment and better auction results.
John-Paul Savant, CEO of ATG, said, “ATG has served the auction industry with energy and commitment for almost 50 years, combining a global online bidder base with a robust and flexible online marketplace platform to deliver outstanding results for auctioneers for over a decade now. We are excited to continue to serve the auction industry as its online partner in the future with even more resources to deploy to improve the technology, the user experience, and to bring more online bidders to auctioneers”.
Ryan Downs, CEO of Proxibid, said, “The combined resources of ATG and Proxibid will give us greater scale in a competitive market. We will accelerate investment in the online tools that make auctioneers a preferred route for the disposal of many industrial assets. This also allows us to address a larger auctioneer base with our auction management tools such as Wavebid”.
A 2019 report from Art Basel and UBS found that the online art market reached a new high of $6 billion in 2018, up 11% year-on-year, representing 9% of the value of global sales. A recent survey of mid-tier auction houses also revealed that over 85% of auction houses expect online sales to increase over the next five years. In relation to the industrial equipment segment, a recent market study estimated the global market for used equipment to be sized at over $300 billion.
“TA Associates is excited to bring together these two profitable and growing online businesses,” said Morgan Seigler, a Managing Director at TA Associates. “With their similar business model, technology and culture, as well as complementary geography and sector focus, we believe that Proxibid and ATG are an excellent match. In collaboration with ECI, we will aim to expand the businesses through both organic and acquisitive growth, and accelerated international expansion.” As part of this transaction, Mr. Seigler and Mr. Stefan Dandl, a Senior Vice President at TA Associates, will join the ATG Board of Directors.
“We are thrilled to have been a partner with ATG through its growth over the past five years, and are excited to welcome TA as an investor in the company,” said Tom Wrenn, a Partner at ECI Partners. “Market dynamics and the expected increases in online auction penetration will provide a strong backdrop for the continued growth of ATG’s digital marketplaces. In partnership with TA and the ATG management team, we look forward to building on this market opportunity to continue ATG’s impressive growth.”
Squire Patton Boggs provided legal counsel and GCA Altium served as financial adviser to ATG and ECI. Travers Smith LLP provided legal counsel and Alvarez & Marsal served as financial advisor to TA Associates. Wilson Sonsini provided legal counsel and Vaquero Capital served as financial advisor to Proxibid.
ATG has offices in the UK, the US and Germany. ATG powers five online marketplaces for buying art and antiques, industrial and commercial equipment, consumer surplus and retail returns at auctions conducted by auctioneers in 140 countries. Our sites include:
• thesaleroom.com - Europe’s leading marketplace for fine art and antiques auctions.
• i-bidder.com - Europe’s leading marketplace for consumer goods, cars and commercial vehicles
• BidSpotter – the world’s leading online marketplace for industrial auctions with localised platforms for North America (BidSpotter.com) and Europe (BidSpotter.co.uk).
• Lot-tissimo – Germany’s foremost fine art and antiques auction portal.
Mobeus Equity Partners, which held a 15% stake in ATG for 11 years, has fully exited its investment.
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