The Irish-owned online property auction business has acquired the London-based Andrews & Robertson for an undisclosed amount
BidX1, the Irish-owned online property auction business has acquired 163-year-old London-based Andrews & Robertson firm, the UK’s in-room auctioneers for an undisclosed sum as the leading Irish property company eyes the launch of its UK business. The first online auction of property by BidX1 in the UK will be held in the spring.
The deal will place BidX1 at the second spot in the combined Irish-UK ranking for residential and commercial auctioneers facilitating a combined £337 million worth of property sales last year, including the €255 million generated in Ireland. BidX1 sold around 650 assets in 2016 for private-equity funds. According to financial statements of Andrews & Robertson, it generated fees of £1.5 million and profits of £112,000, in 2016.
The first spot in Irish-UK property ranking is held by Allsops and puts it ahead of Savills in the rankings.
Under the strategy described by BidX1 as an “omnichannel”, its online business will operate in tandem with the in-room services provided by Andrews & Robertson that will continue to be provided by the existing management team of Andrews & Robertson.
Led by Stephen McCarthy, BidX1 earlier operated as Allsops Ireland and now plans to use the acquisition as a launching pad into Britain where it plans to aggressively roll out its online platform to become one of the largest property auction houses in Ireland and the UK. Mr. McCarthy said that BidX1 has been planning to launch in the UK for some time and Andrews & Robertson is the ideal partner for it.
Previously, Mr. McCarthy’s Space Property Group operated a joint venture in Ireland with UK auctioneers Allsops that gained prominence during the last property crash as a clearing house for residential and commercial properties. At that time, it became popular because of its ability to generate interest of buyers in properties as banks and receivers looked to offload properties surrendered by borrowers. Following the property market recovery, Space bought out Allsops from their joint venture last August in a deal estimated to be worth €4 million, and rebranded the operation as BidX1 to focus on online sales. Now, the deal with Andrews & Robertson will place it in direct competition with Allsops, its former joint venture partner.
The BidX1 platform allows buyers to log in remotely to the website where all bids are logged and displayed. When the price of a property is met, the system flags the property and soft and hard copies of the contracts are sent to both the buyer and the seller after the auction ends.