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Top auction house to become part of mixed online/traditional service

Andrews & Robertson, one of the UK’s highest profile auction houses, has been taken over by Ireland’s BidX1 and is set to become part of a major online sales platform.

The new operation will immediately become the second largest residential and commercial auction house in the combined British and Irish market, and has plans to expand rapidly in the UK through the introduction of the online auctions.

BidX1 is Ireland’s largest property auction house, offering both residential and commercial auctions via its bespoke online platform; it has sold over 6,000 properties in Ireland raising in excess of €1.2 billion over a six year period.

It claims its online auctions have produced greater volumes of bids per lot, and consequently higher success rates and premiums for clients.

In the UK,  BidX1 will be launching online auctions alongside Andrews & Robertson’s continuing in-room auction business, creating wjat it describes as “an omni-channel auction powerhouse which combines the best of new technology with tried and tested sales techniques.”

BidX1 managing director Stephen McCarthy says: “We have been planning to launch in the United Kingdom for some time ... Andrews & Robertson is the ideal partner for us, and between us we believe we will offer an unparalleled service to clients wanting to use the whole range of auctions possible.”

The first BidX1 UK online auction will be held in London in the spring and will be accessible online to buyers and sellers from across Britain and around the world.

Andrews & Robertson chairman and senior auctioneer Robin Cripp and director and auctioneer John Weatherall will continue with the new business, and the Andrews & Robertson name will be retained. The company has also pledged to continue to hold its seven scheduled ballroom auctions in 2018.

Cripp says: “We are excited to be combining our UK market knowledge with BidX1’s online expertise to deliver an experience which will take auctions into the digital age.”

The new combined company says online auctions now lead the market in Ireland, with bids logged and displayed on a website, allowing bidders to clearly assess levels of competition, and as a result a high level of activity.

All bids are logged and clearly displayed on the website, along with an indicator showing whether or not the reserve has been met. In this way, bidders can clearly assess the levels of competition and market activity.

Once the auction is concluded BidX1 exchanges contracts on behalf of the buyer and the seller, and electronic and hard copy contracts are sent to the respective solicitors. Apart from the online auction process itself, all other aspects of an online auction are the same as an in-room auction.

Online auctions have proved particularly popular among private equity houses seeking full transparency in their sales, with BidX1 selling approximately 650 assets for private equity funds in 2016.

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