Online bidding
Auction Technology Group, owner of online marketplaces including thesaleroom.com, has announced the proposed acquisition of LiveAuctioneers.

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The intended acquisition, which is subject to customary regulatory approval, is aimed at expanding ATG’s interest in the North American market.

Through the proposed deal, auction houses that run their sales on liveauctioneers.com can also list their auctions on ATG’s existing art and antiques marketplaces (as well as thesaleroom.com, ATG also owns lot-tissimo.com in Germany) and reach a wider audience of bidders. Likewise, ATG’s existing auction house clients will have the option to list on the LiveAuctioneers website where North American bidders buy more than one million items a year online.

ATG says payment, backoffice and marketing operations can be offered more efficiently to the combined firms’ partner auction houses.

The announcement comes four months after ATG listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.

Fast-growing market

The company’s chief executive officer John-Paul Savant said: “The proposed acquisition of LiveAuctioneers enables ATG to enter the large and fastgrowing North American art and antiques segment, further diversifying our business and bringing complementary auctioneers and bidders to our group.

“It will strengthen our ability to invest in improving the buying experience, making online auctions more attractive to bidders around the world. Our goal is to keep this important industry competitive in an increasingly digital world and, in turn, accelerate the pace of sustainable commerce by making it easier and more attractive to buy and sell through auctions.”

Founded in 2002 , LiveAuctioneers will continue to operate with its headquarters in New York City and be led by long-standing CEO Phil Michaelson. He said: “LiveAuctioneers is proud of the relationship it has developed as a trusted partner to auction houses and the value it has delivered to those businesses over the last 19 years. As part of ATG, LiveAuctioneers’ partners will extend their online marketing to reach ATG’s network of bidders from 150 countries around the world.

“This, plus deeper investment in the end-to-end buyer experience, will enable auctioneers to foster enhanced competition for, and realise the full value of, the arts and antiques items being auctioned and expand the appeal of live online auctions as the best path by which to buy and sell secondary goods.”