SDL rebrands and eyes new sites for national expansion

Regional group SDL has rebranded its auction department and revealed its next round of target locations as it steps up its bid to become a national network.

It has brought together the three auction houses it owns - Birmingham-based Bigwood, Chester-based Humphreys and Graham Penny, which holds sales in Derby, Nottingham and Leicester - under the banner of SDL Auctions.

“After rebranding from Shepherd Direct into SDL in December 2015, SDL Auctions is now ready to grow even further,” said SDL’s chief executive Rory Daly (pictured).

SDL Group acquired Bigwood and Graham Penny in early 2016, followed by its Chester operation in October. It is now the UK’s fourth-biggest auction house, and the largest outside London.

“The two [Midlands] auction houses were managed separately but under the same umbrella,” Daly told Property Week.

“Bigwood was the biggest auction house in the West Midlands and Graham Penny the biggest in the East Midlands. Our aim was to become the biggest auctioneer across the Midlands.”

SDL is now targeting new locations across the country, he added. “The next territory we want to establish in is the North West, so we can hold large auction sales in Manchester,” he said, adding that this would probably follow the same acquisition model as SDL’s current operations.

Welsh expansion

Wales is another area the group is looking to expand into. “Up to 50% of the lots sold in Chester are located in north Wales,” Daly explained.

“We receive a lot of distressed assets from there. If we end up with a large enough catalogue, it is possible that we will have an auction in Wales.”

It is also seeking opportunities to acquire auction businesses in Yorkshire and Bristol.

To coincide with the rebrand, SDL Auctions has launched a new website.

“We needed a resource for the growing number of sophisticated auction clients who understand the market and appreciate the potential of buying and selling at auction,” said SDL auctioneer and managing director Andrew Parker. “Our new national website will grow as our reach further expands across the UK.”

SDL’s next auctions will be held on 4 May in Birmingham and Nottingham.

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