Mobeus invests in ATG creating global online auction business
Mobeus Equity Partners (“Mobeus”) has made a further investment of £4.5 million in existing portfolio company ATG Media to finance the acquisition of BidSpotter Inc, the US-based world leader in industrial and commercial online auctions. The acquisition will broaden ATG Media’s existing auction platforms, the-saleroom.com and i-bidder.com to create a business with leading sites for general auctions, including plant and machinery, property and agricultural sales alongside a leading portal for live and timed art and antiques auctions.
ATG Media’s platforms enable buyers to search catalogues and place bids over the internet in real-time, with live audio and video feeds communicating the auction room atmosphere.
In 2012 the sites hosted 7000 auction catalogues, held 4500 live and timed auctions and sold over £115 million online.
Mobeus originally supported the MBO of ATG Media in October 2008, providing £4.5 million of equity funding. This further investment takes Mobeus’s total investment in ATG to £9 million to date.
This is Mobeus’s third deal so far this year and is the second investment by Mobeus in 2013 that provides acquisition finance to facilitate significant expansion of a successful existing portfolio company. It follows the announcement in February of the £3.2 million further investment in Motorclean to create the largest provider of car valeting services in the UK. In March, Mobeus invested £6.7 million to support the management buyout of Gro Group, the UK market leader in the baby sleep category.
Mike Walker, Portfolio Director of Mobeus who sits on the board of ATG comments:
“We completed the original investment in ATG two weeks after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. Our conviction in the team and the business and commitment to doing the deal despite the challenging environment has been well rewarded - ATG has been a very successful investment for us to date. The business has shown strong turnover and profit growth since the original buyout.
We are very pleased to have the opportunity to support this excellent management team in continuing to drive the business forward, creating a global player of scale that is at the forefront of taking the auction industry to a new level”.
Anne Somers, CEO of ATG Media comments:
“BidSpotter Inc directly complements our existing auction sites and this marks an important step in ATG Media’s evolution. With bases in the USA and UK we will be become truly international and better able to serve both buyers and sellers in the global auction market.”
“We already have a longstanding relationship with BidSpotter, having run their UK website BidSpotter.co.uk for over 3 years, so we are delighted to be able to bring the US site BidSpotter.com under the same management,” she added.