BCG and OC&C advise on Castik Capital’s acquisition of TBAuctions

01 December 2021 2 min. read

Investor Castik Capital has acquired Netherlands-headquartered TBAuctions, with the aim of building the largest online auction platform in Europe.

The deal follows shortly after the bolt-on of Vavato, one of the largest online auction houses in Belgium. Going forward, the German private equity group has plans to bundle the two players, and expand the platform through organic growth and a buy & build approach – as part of its strategy to create a market leader in the region.

According to recent research by Castik Capital, the auction market is a growing market with a relatively fragmented landscape, and an industry where digitisation still is in its infancy.

BCG and OC&C advise on Castik Capital’s acquisition of TBAuctions

“We are at the beginning of a potential pan-European market consolidation, which is underpinned by technological development,” said Michael Phillips, Investment Partner at Castik Capital.

Castik Capital’s study also found that local players struggle to finance large (and much needed) investments in IT. Facing a changing landscape, online auction houses are expected to ramp up their customer experience and offer a seamless digital process – improvements that come with a hefty price tag, in particular for smaller players.

Indeed, for TBAuctions, this was one of the drivers for joining Castik Capital, said CEO Herberth Samsom. “Facilitating the transition from physical to online auctions can only be done through major investments in technology.”

80-year-old TBAuctions was established in 2018 following the merger between BVA Auctions and Troostwijk. The company was owned by Dutch private equity groups Bencis and Hartenlust and a number of executives of private auction houses in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. Castik Capital has acquired “nearly all shares” for an undisclosed sum.

In 2020, TBAuctions organised around 11,000 auctions, up from 8,500 in 2019. Buyers – who originate from all corners of the globe – spent in total €435 million across 2.6 million lots. Most of the auctions are commissioned by governments, banks, administrators and private sector enterprises.

“If you look at the digitisation of e-commerce in general, it is striking that the world of ‘second hand’ is lagging behind. This offers us unique opportunities in the marketplace. We are now ready to accelerate our growth together with Castik Capital, who are known for investing strongly in both organic and inorganic growth which perfectly resonates with our ambitions and goals,” said Samsom.

Consultants from Boston Consulting Group and OC&C Strategy Consultants provided strategic support during the deal. Boston Consulting Group advised Castik, providing strategy services and conducted the commercial due diligence. OC&C Strategy Consultants provided the same set of services to the shareholders of TBAuctions.

Other consulting firms that were flown in for the deal were: Rothschild, PwC, Emendo, Houthoff, Netlight, Skadden, Houlihan Lokey, Etribes, and Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.