The auction company Auctionet, founded by former Bukowskis employees, purchased Stockholms Auktionsverk out of the Lauritz.com crisis. “Stockholms Auktionsverk will be back,” says Auctionet CEO Niklas Söderholm.
last week A deal long rumored to be public: Auctionet buys Sweden’s oldest auction house Stockholms Auktionsverk from Lauritz.com.
“We did this work for over a year. I reported to Lauritz.com a while ago that they had to do something because of their loan status. It was natural that we would start looking at it. Before the summer, we went into the due diligence process, which took a long time.” Niklas Soderholm, Auctionet CEO and Pioneer Niklas Söderholm says.
In addition to Stockholms Auktionsverk’s valuable art operations in Nybrogatan in Stockholm, branches in Magasin 5 are also included in Frihamnen, Globen, Norrköping, Gothenburg, Helsingborg, Malmö and Helsinki in Finland. Auktionshuset Karlstad-Hammarö and Lauritz.com in Germany are changing owners as well.
Lauritz.com, who has been in a financial crisis for a long time, wrote in his press release that the company is reducing its debt and accumulated interest by a total of about SEK 100 million. But at the same time, Niklas Söderholm is unwilling to put his heavy auction price tag on.
The acquisition will double Auctionet sales to nearly SEK 200 million, the CEO said. In 2020 Auctionet, already called Auction Network Sweden, generated sales of nearly SEK 100 million. Profits in 2020 fell by 10 million kronor, according to Niklas Söderholm.
At octite Stockholms’ purchase of Auktionsverk means the company is now entering the market for more expensive art in Sweden. The main competitors are Bukowskis and Uppsala Auktionskammare. But Stockholms Auktionsverk’s valuable art operations, which after the turn of the millennium became a dangerous competitor to Bukovskis, have been in crisis since Lauritz.com’s acquisition of Lauritz.com in 2014. The company has been hit by losses in recent years.
“Although owning an auction company isn’t really part of our strategy, this is an interesting opportunity for us,” says Niklas Söderholm.
The auctioneer describes itself as a platform company for auction houses, where the business model is to assist auction houses with their digital presence. The auction is concerned with business systems, all support, financing, and transportation. Auction houses that use the Auctionet Service pay 5 percent of the bid price to the Auctionet.
“80 percent of our sales come from businesses we don’t own,” says Niklas Söderholm.
But while Auctionet wants to define itself as a platform company, the company already has a number of auction houses such as Crafoord Auktioner, Göteborgs Auktionsverk and The Auction Hub in the UK.
What is your goal for Stockholms Auktionsverk on Nybrogatan in Stockholm?
The work has to go back to where it was. The brand is very powerful and we see huge potential in it. There is a lot to do and it might look a little worse than it is, ”says Niklas Söderholm.
Stockholms CEO Auktionsverk was the main owner of Lauritz.com, Mette Rode Sundström, and now Auctionet wants to appoint a new CEO, who will likely also become a partner.
“We believe in a local entrepreneur. With the right incentive, discipline and order, I think a lot can be done,” says Niklas Söderholm.
You’re the One who founded Auctionet and previously worked at Bukowskis. Do you now want to be bigger than Bukowski selling expensive artwork?
“Of course we will grow into valuable art.” “Growth is a goal in itself and we want to be as much as possible in the field of fine art,” says Niklas Söderholm.
What does your interest in art look like?
“My father is very interested in art and I have grown up with the art around me. But I am not a specialist.”