Lauritz.com acquires Stockholms Auktionsverk

Together Lauritz.com and Stockholms Auktionsverk will be the market leader in Sweden.

Niclas Forsman, Mette Rode Sundström och Bengt Sundström. Foto: Cia Österberg

Auction enthusiasts throughout Sweden have for centuries valued Stockholms Auktionsverk's expertise, extensive assortment and high quality. This passion for the objects and solid specialist knowledge represent the core values and common denominator for the alliance between Lauritz.com and Stockholms Auktionsverk. The acquisition moreover strengthens both organizations in the areas of professional expertise, IT and management.

Total annual turnover in the Lauritz.com group is expected to top EUR 160 million in 2014. All items in online auctions at Stockholms Auktionsverk's Magasin 5 will soon be presented on Lauritz.com's website and app, and be exposed to Lauritz.com's more than 1.2 million registered customers with over 130,000 daily visits.

Stockholms Auktionsverk will naturally continue under the same name. Niclas Forsman is continuing as Managing Director for Stockholms Auktionsverk. There will be physical catalogues and physical auctions for the more exclusive part of the range. The two companies will each retain their own identity and marketing will generally run separately. There are high expectations of the future synergy effect, which is expected to generate growth in both companies, and result in further appointments.

Stockholms Auktionsverk is the world's oldest auction house, established in 1674 on the initiative of Baron Claes Rålamb. The baron was the governor of Stockholm at the time and Karl XI was Sweden's monarch. The auction house primarily sells exclusive art, interesting decorative arts and fine antiques. Over time customers have included such prominent names as King Karl XI himself as well as King Gustav III, and authors August Strindberg and Selma Lagerlöf.

Bengt Sundstrøm, founder, owner and chairman of the board for Lauritz.com comments on the acquisition:
'Collaboration with Stockholms Auktionsverk is a natural choice and a great benefit to both parties. Lauritz.com has a modern profile among consumers and is especially known for modern art, furniture classics and unique design objects, while Stockholms Auktionsverk has a more classic profile and is skilled in more expensive art and exclusive antiques. We see an enormous potential in developing the common customer base further with room for all types of people, just like we look forward to commencing an inspiring collaboration between all our passionate specialists. Personally I'm also looking forward to many fruitful discussions with Stockholms Auktionsverk's experts about interesting art and special antiques. We are very proud to bring Stockholms Auktionsverk into the family. This new collaboration will contribute to manifesting the Lauritz.com group as an important actor on the global auction scene.'

Peter Alarik, majority shareholder in Stockholms Auktionsverk since 1993, tells how during the course of the summer he was asked whether he was interested in selling to Lauritz.com:
'I felt straightaway that Lauritz.com and Stockholms Auktionsverk could be the perfect match. Bengt Sundstrøm, Lauritz.com's owner, explained that he intended to keep Stockholms Auktionsverk as an independent unit within the group and protect the Stockholms Auktionsverk brand. He saw that we had a lot in common, not least in canvassing sales. I'm approaching 70 and have been Chairman of the Board for 21 years. It feels like time is ripe to bring fresh blood into the company, and Niclas Forsman, Managing Director and co-owner of the company is also very much in favour of this change in ownership makeup.'

Niclas Forsman sees great opportunities with Lauritz.com as new owner:
'I know Bengt from earlier and have followed his success story. It will be really exciting to be a part of it. We are ready for a big expansion of our online auctions at Magasin 5. We now become part of the market's leading experts in the area of online auctions, which is truly inspiring.'

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About Lauritz.com
Lauritz.com is Scandinavia's biggest auction house. In 1999, Lauritz.com was the first traditional auction house in the world to go over purely to online auctions. With his background in the traditional auction business, Lauritz.com's Swedish founder and owner Bengt Sundstrøm's guiding vision was to put focus on the customer and take auctions from the physical saleroom to the internet. Lauritz.com today has 21 auction houses in Denmark (13), Sweden (5), Germany (2) and Belgium (1). Here, each day sellers can consign to the auction house specialists and bidders can view the items physically in the auction house showrooms. All bidding takes place online on Lauritz.com. All items are appraised, described and photographed objectively by Lauritz.com's own specialists and photographers. Today around 260 staff are employed (before acquisition of Stockholms Auktionsverk). Turnover for the group as a whole was EUR 117 million in 2013. Lauritz.com has more than 1.2 million registered customers and each day the website and app attract approx. 130,000 visits. Visitors regularly come from around 200 countries.

About Stockholms Auktionsverk
Stockholms Auktionsverk was founded back in 1674 and has continued without interruption ever since. This makes it the world's oldest auction house. The company was privatized in 1993 and today is one of Sweden's leading auction houses for both online auctions and traditional auctions of fine art. The auction house has premises in Stockholm on Nybrogatan and at Frihamnen, branches in Gothenburg and Malmö, as well as a large network of representatives in Europe and the USA. Stockholms Auktionsverk has Sweden's most experienced fine art specialists. Turnover in 2013 was EUR 50 million.

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