Auction Finance

SDL Group doubles auction operation

SDL Group has doubled its auction operation with the acqusition of the largest and most successful auction house in the East Midlands, Graham Penny.

The acquisition will double the total sales of the Group’s auction division to more than £160m per annum, taking it in to the top four nationwide.

Rory Daly, chief executive officer of  SDL’ existing auction house Bigwood, said: “This marks the next step in the evolution of SDL’s strategy to build the leading national auction brand, starting with last year’s acquisition of Bigwood and now this exciting move to bring the Graham Penny business into the group. This acquisition catapults the combined businesses to aggregate annual sales revenues of over £160m and places us in the top four of all such firms in the UK.

“The acquisition makes perfect sense for both parties, and gives us unparalleled coverage of the Midlands region. Our combined operation is also now by some distance the largest auction house outside of London and enables us to offer extensive coverage to all our regular clients, including local authorities, institutions and our investor clients.”

Paul Gratton, chief executive officer of the SDL Group, said: “When we acquired Bigwood we said we were intending to build on the existing strengths of the business – auctions and property management.

“This is the first of a number of acquisitions we have in the pipeline and under consideration, and gives us a real auction powerhouse across the UK.

“SDL is a fast-paced, successful growing property services group which has more than quadrupled its turnover in the last five years and remains extremely ambitious.”

The deal will see shareholder and co-founder James Cockayne retire, while John Fearnehough and Graham Penny will continue with the business as consultants. The business will be run by managing director Andrew Parker, who will report to Rory Daly.

Parker said: “The operations of both groups overlap without competing and by working together we will be able to secure additional benefits and operating efficiencies. The financial strength, entrepreneurial prowess and logistical support provided by the SDL Group will enable the business to develop its market leading proposition as well as to continue the significant growth it has achieved over the past decade.”

Graham Penny Auctions hold regular auctions in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham and this move will make the SDL Group’s auction operation the largest in the UK outside of London.

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