TB Auctions acquires online auction house Vavato

Dutch online auction house Tuberculosis Auctionsmarket leader in Europe, acquires its Belgian counterpart Vavato. The transaction is partly in cash and partly in shares.

440 million euros

Vavato was founded in 2015 by Flemish entrepreneurs Kevin Van de Vyver, Pieterjan Van Emelen and Fons Tooten. They have launched an online auction platform to sell clearance goods, leased cars, returns from online stores and excess inventory from retail chains, among others. The young company grew rapidly and in 2019 the transaction value was already 45 million euros. Today it is around 65 million euros, writes the Belgian newspaper De Tijd.

Vavato will now be acquired by TB Auctions. The latter is a Dutch auction house with an annual transaction value of 440 million euros, market leader in Europe. The company already owns the brands Troostwijk (industrial goods) and BVA Auctions (consumers and SMEs) and is active in a dozen European countries, including Belgium.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but according to De Tijd, the valuation is between €40m and €50m. A portion of this sum will be paid partly in cash and partly by an exchange of shares.

Direct sale

All of the group’s brands will continue to exist separately, with their own websites. The three founders and CFO Nicolas Germanes will continue the development of Vavato. According to CEO Fons Tooten, voluntary online auctions, in particular, are on the rise. “Direct selling according to supply and demand – without a predetermined fixed price – is increasingly becoming an alternative to traditional distribution. Vavato is growing by 100% per year.”

There is also a growing interest in selling online from the art world. “Belgian art galleries and antique dealers are asking us more and more.” The auction house is also exploring the possibilities of auctioning other goods and services, such as student loans, insurance or missions.