Epiris today announces that Bonhams, the global auction house and a portfolio company of Epiris Fund II, has acquired Bukowskis, the leading auction house in the Nordics. Fund II has made a further investment in Bonhams to fund the acquisition, which is the second add-on acquisition for Bonhams and the tenth to be completed by a Fund II portfolio company. Financial terms are not being disclosed.
Bonhams is one of the world’s leading auctioneers of fine art and antiquities, motor cars and jewellery. Founded in London in 1793, the business operates globally from flagship sale rooms in London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Hong Kong, and this year will hold more than 400 specialist sales across 60 different categories. Epiris invested in Bonhams in 2018.
Established in 1870, Bukowskis is one of the largest auction houses in the Nordic region, selling both digitally, through its website and app, and in person at its flagship sale room in Stockholm. Bukowskis’ digital presence attracts more than one million visitors every month, and last year it sold 11 out of the 15 most expensive art works in the Nordic market. The acquisition will enhance Bonhams’ European scale and presence and add digital capabilities to support further growth across the Bonhams network.
Bonhams is run by Chief Executive Bruno Vinciguerra and Bukowskis, by Chief Executive Louise Arén.
Owen Wilson, Partner at Epiris, said:
“We are very excited to welcome Bukowskis to Bonhams. The business has built an incredibly strong reputation in the Nordics, and we see tremendous opportunity for both it and Bonhams in this union: greater international reach for the former, and greater European scale and presence for the latter. We are looking forward to working with Louise and her team to develop Bukowskis further.”
Alex Fortescue, Managing Partner at Epiris, said:
“Since 2018, we have been working to drive the transformation of Bonhams into a global, digitally-enabled auction business through investment in people, technology and now M&A. The acquisition of Bukowskis is a significant further step in this transformation.”
Bruno Vinciguerra, Chief Executive of Bonhams, said:
“This acquisition is an important part of our strategy to build Bonhams into a truly global player with a balanced presence across the US, the UK, Continental Europe and Asia. We are delighted to welcome Louise and the entire Bukowskis team to the Bonhams family.”
The Epiris team on the deal is Alex Fortescue, Owen Wilson and Zoe Lai. Epiris and Bonhams are advised by Travers Smith, RPC and Mazars.
For Epiris LLP please contact:
Robert White, Matthew Goodman, Daniel Oliver
+44 (0)20 7952 2000
Epiris is a top-decile* private equity firm which invests in opportunities to transform businesses in partnership with exceptional management teams. It targets control positions in UK-headquartered businesses with an enterprise value of between £75 million and £500 million, deploying between £40 million and £150 million of equity.
Between 2011 and 2016 Epiris invested £1 billion in buyouts and loan-to-own debt investments in respect of which it has delivered a gross IRR of 38%*. Synthetic net returns from this portfolio are in the top-decile of European private equity funds of comparable vintages.
Epiris Fund II is an institutional private equity fund raised in 2017. Investments made by Fund II include Portals, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of “substrate” for banknotes; TI Media, one of the largest consumer magazine publishers in the UK, which the Fund sold to Future plc for £140 million in April 2020, generating a return of 2.1x MOIC, a 44% IRR; The Club Company, the UK’s largest country club operator; Bonhams, the global auction house; Diamorph, a supplier of advanced material solutions for demanding and safety-critical applications; IFG, a financial services business comprising James Hay, which provides investment platform services, as well as Saunderson House, an independent wealth manager and financial adviser which the Fund sold to Rathbone Brothers Plc for £150 million in October 2021; The Big Table, a leading UK restaurant operator; and Sharps, the UK’s leading supplier of bespoke fitted bedroom furniture.
For further information, please visit www.epiris.co.uk.
Issued by Epiris which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
*As at 30 September 2021. Gross IRR does not reflect adjustments for investment management and administration costs. Comparator data supplied by Preqin. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.