Auctionet, the web-based auction system for online and hammer auctions has acquired Somerset auction house Lawrences Auctioneers.
Lawrences Auctioneers in Crewkerne, Somerset, is a long-established firm, operating from a fine and large 19th-century building in the town centre. It has a dedicated team of specialists whose expertise covers almost 300 years in the industry and the firm offers more than 50,000 lots per year from departments such as silver, ceramics, furniture, pictures, jewellery, militaria, collectors and sporting items and books.
“The acquisition of Lawrences Auctioneers, one of the UK’s most prominent and well-known auction houses, is an exciting milestone for both Auctionet and Lawrences Auctioneers. With this partnership we will strengthen our position in the UK market and help Lawrences implement an online strategy that is well proven across our group of European auction houses,” said Niklas Söderholm, co-founder and CEO of the Swedish owners.
“I have been Managing Director at Lawrences for more than 30 years, since I lead a management buyout in 1992,” commented Helen Carless, current Chairman & Managing Director. “Auctionet is a dream partner with whom to continue to develop the business and it is with great confidence I entrust Lawrences to the new owners. I am certain that it will flourish in Auctionet’s care.”
Helen will continue as Chairman and Managing Director with the current Board of Directors also remaining in place.
Auctionet was founded in 2011 and has since grown with over 50 partner auction houses, operating in 6 countries. It sells more than 500,000 lots annually with auctions taking place 365 days of the year.
“A digital presence has never been more important and the transition of traditional hammer auctions to pure online solution has been pioneered by Auctionet,” added Mr Söderholm. “We are now able to provide our partnered auction houses with a truly integrated auction management and logistics package that enables local auctioneers to have a global reach. With a 40 percent increase in web traffic over the past 12 months, online auctions are now being established as a key component for auctioneers.”
“The announcement of our latest acquisition is a pivotal point in Auctionet’s expansion in the UK and amplifies our commitment of building a full-scale online presence for our partnered auctioneers,” said Tom Österman, co-founder and responsible for Auctionet’s UK operations.