Alan Bell, UK MD of Troostwijk Asset Management advises SMEs on the opportunities offered by engraining asset management strategy at the core of their operations and utilising zombie assets from other companies. With over 90 years’ experience, Troostwijk is an asset management specialist and the biggest industrial online auctioneer in Europe.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are an integral part of the European economy. They represent 99% of all businesses in the EU and pave the way for continued growth and innovation on both micro and macro levels.
However, SME’s are missing out on huge growth opportunities by not embedding an asset management strategy into their operations or utilising the blooming B2B online marketplace as a source for acquiring new assets.
For businesses that are looking for ways to grow, buying assets at auctions will enable them to react quicker to the changing market conditions and identify opportunities that already exist within their machinery. In many instances, we also see buyers double up as sellers once they realise the true value of their assets.
These auctions can offer an international platform for scalable companies to access unique equipment and machinery, quicker and at highly competitive prices.
Unlocking Growth Potential
The B2B auctions market is continuing to grow rapidly, and is now worth £480m in the UK alone as more companies are identifying them as a viable route to market, gaining access to new customers around the world. As a result, buyers are in a more fruitful position than ever with an influx of new products available to purchase. And yet, we believe only a quarter of businesses currently use B2B auctions as part of an asset management strategy.
So why is it that a significant number of small businesses fail to recognise and more importantly utilise the B2B auctions market in their day to day operations?
Unbundling Asset Management
For businesses wanting to tap into the B2B auctions market there are a number of aspects to consider and take into account to ensure the process is seamless and successful. The key is for buyers to work with asset management specialists who can help businesses to maximise opportunity through managing risk and building confidence.
A complete asset management process includes understanding and identifying the correct value of assets and coupling this with a comprehensive strategy which will guide businesses in meeting objectives and growth ambitions. Such strategies will guide buyers in placing bids at the right level and the right time for the best available asset.
B2B Auctions in Practice
At Troostwijk Asset Management, we specialise in working side by side with businesses to develop effective asset management strategies that deliver optimum value and return on investments. Believing everything has value, Troostwijk Asset Management guides buyers in making smart, long-term investment decisions.
Although the concept of asset management and B2B auctions in general can seem daunting to many, there is a wealth of expertise on hand to guide you on making the right decisions which will in turn stimulate vital growth.
From our experience spanning over 90 years, we’ve identified that key reasons for why businesses are not using B2B auctions to buy assets and have developed a unique and comprehensive platform that addresses the challenges associated.
Top Tips for Maximising Impact
We wanted to give you the benefit of our 90 years of experience of working with hundreds of buyers across numerous international markets and share our top tips to a successful auction.
- Know your vendor – Reputation and origin of the vendor is essential in ensuring a seamless transaction. Enlist the help of a specialist who can carry out a comprehensive background check and take this off your shoulders.
- Go Global – Accessing the international auctions market means your business will have access to products that might not be available in the UK. At Troostwijk Asset Management we facilitate relationships between buyers and sellers from 127 countries. Most recently, we found a home for a discontinued crumpets machine all the way in New Zealand!
- Skeletons in the Closet – Find out who are the dismantling contractors are working on the auction and whether there will be any additional costs? Are they a specialist dismantling contractor? Also, if the Seller is from a known brand you can be confident he will have maintained the assets regularly. These details are integral in making sure the auction is successful and the purchased assets worth your investment.
- Decoding Jargon – There are many technicalities associated with online auctions, do you know what the T’s & C’s mean? Payment terms and collections dates are critical in evaluating how attractive an asset is.
- Timing is Everything – When should you make a bid? Often auctioneers will consider offers for assets prior to auction, especially for complete lines, so if it is critical or of particular interest to you then buying early maybe the best tactic. Having a strategy in place for the bidding process and knowing when to act is essential to ensure business investment objectives are realised.
Siemens Healthineers gains EU nod for $16.4 billion Varian buy
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators on Friday cleared with conditions Siemens Healthineers’ $16.4 billion acquisition of U.S. peer Varian, paving the way for the German health group to become a world leader in cancer care therapy.
The European Commission said Siemens Healthineers pledged to ensure that its medical imaging and radiotherapy equipment will work with rivals in return for its approval, confirming a Reuters story. The pledge is valid for 10 years.
“High quality medical imaging and radiotherapy solutions are crucial to diagnose and treat cancer. The efficiency and safety of treatment relies on the ability of these products to work together,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
Varian is the leader in radiation therapy with a market share of more than 50%. The deal received the U.S. antitrust green light in October last year.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee)
Battling Covid collateral damage, Renault says 2021 will be volatile
By Gilles Guillaume
PARIS (Reuters) – Renault said on Friday it is still fighting the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a shortage of semiconductor chips, that could make for another rough year for the French carmaker.
Renault reported an 8 billion euro ($9.7 billion) loss for 2020 which, combined with gloomy take on the market, sent its shares down more than 5% in late morning trading.
“We are in the midst of a battle to try to manage a difficult year in terms of supply chains, of components,” Chief Executive Luca de Meo told reporters. “This is all the collateral damage of the Covid pandemic… we will have a fairly volatile year.”
De Meo, who took over last July, is looking at ways to boost profitability and sales at Renault while pushing ahead with cost cuts. There were early signs of improving momentum as margins inched up in the second half of 2020.
The group gave no financial guidance for this year, although it said it might reach a target of achieving 2 billion euros in costs cuts by 2023 ahead of time, possibly by December.
Executives said they were confident the carmaker could be profitable in the second half of 2021, but that they lacked sufficient market visibility to provide a forecast.
Renault struck a cautious note, saying it was focused on its recovery but warned orders had faltered in early 2021 as pandemic restrictions continued in some countries.
The group is facing new challenges as the European Union tightens emissions regulations and after rivals PSA and Fiat Chrysler joined forces to create Stellantis, the world’s fourth-biggest automaker.
The auto industry endured a tough 2020 but a swift rebound in premium car sales in China helped companies such as Volkswagen and Daimler to weather the storm.
Auto companies globally have since been hit by a shortage of semiconductors that has forced production cuts worldwide.
“The beginning of the year has shown some signs of weakness,” De Meo told analysts, but added the chip shortage should be resolved by the second half of 2021. “We have taken the necessary measures to anticipate and overcome challenges.”
Renault estimated the chip shortage could reduce its production by about 100,000 vehicles this year.
The group was already loss-making in 2019, but took a sharp hit in 2020 during lockdowns to fight the pandemic, which also hurt its Japanese partner Nissan.
Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected a 7.4 billion euro loss for 2020. The group posted negative free cash flow for 2020.
The 2018 arrest of Carlos Ghosn, who formerly lead the alliance between Renault and Nissan, plunged the automakers into turmoil.
In a further sign that the companies have been working to repair the alliance, De Meo told journalists that Renault and Nissan will announce new joint products together in the coming weeks or months.
Renault has begun to raise prices on some car models, and group operating profit, which was negative for 2020 as a whole, improved in the last six months of the year, reaching 866 million euros or 3.5% of revenue.
Analysts at Jefferies said the operating performance was better than expected. Sales were still falling in the second half, but less sharply.
Renault is slashing jobs and trimming its range of cars, allowing it to slice spending in areas like research and development as it focuses on redressing its finances. It is also pivoting more towards electric cars as part of its revamp.
It was already struggling more than some rivals with sliding sales before the pandemic, after years of a vast expansion drive it is now trying to rein in, focusing on profitable markets.
De Meo told journalists on Friday that the French carmaker will make three new higher-margin models at its Palencia plant in Spain, where manufacturing costs are lower, between 2022 and 2024.
($1 = 0.8269 euros)
(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume and Sarah White in Paris, Nick Carey in London; Editing by Christopher Cushing, David Evans and Jan Harvey)
UK delays review of business rates tax until autumn
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s finance ministry said it would delay publication of its review of business rates – a tax paid by companies based on the value of the property they occupy – until the autumn when the economic outlook should be clearer.
Many companies are demanding reductions in their business rates to help them compete with online retailers.
“Due to the ongoing and wide-ranging impacts of the pandemic and economic uncertainty, the government said the review’s final report would be released later in the year when there is more clarity on the long-term state of the economy and the public finances,” the ministry said.
Finance minister Rishi Sunak has granted a temporary business rates exemption to companies in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, costing over 10 billion pounds ($14 billion). Sunak is due to announce his next round of support measures for the economy on March 3.
($1 = 0.7152 pounds)
(Writing by William Schomberg, editing by David Milliken)
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