Targeted Auction

A procedure that concentrates on a small number of bids for an acquisition of a firm or a business.

A targeted auction is a procedure that concentrates on a small number of bids for an acquisition of a firm or a business. The number of possible bids is restricted to about 10.

This technique focuses on the target's perceived best potential purchasers. When compared to a wide auction, which addresses all possible buyers in the industry regardless of suitability, a focused auction swiftly filters out unfit buyers.

Financial purchasers such as private equity organizations should ideally be excluded from the list of buyers. 

Because the seller focuses on qualified strategic purchasers, the process moves rapidly. By constraining the number of purchasers, the chance of private information is disclosed to third parties is reduced.

Sellers of mid-market firms tend to use the targeted auction strategy throughout the auction process to maximize their odds of selling their business. 

The promoters of the firm collaborate with professional consultants to develop a possible list of interested purchasers.

Prospective purchasers might be top industry performers or buyers who have previously done business with the seller. 

The list is then evaluated and narrowed down to a few qualified purchasers who meet the seller's criteria. The seller then holds a bidding war amongst the prospective bidders to decide the highest bidder.

Workings of a Targeted Auction

Targeted auctions are a private bidding procedure open to a small number of bidders. 

Most of these auctions averaging ten bids make auction administration more efficient and secure, reducing the chance of sensitive information being leaked to undesirable parties. 

A downside of a focused auction is the possibility of excluding the highest-bidding buyer.

The first stage in this auction process is to identify all possible purchasers who may be interested in completing the deal. The seller then collaborates with professional M&A consultants to write a memorandum outlining the business's activities in detail.

The M&A consultants will compile a list of possible buyers using their network of contacts or online deal sourcing tools. The initial list is trimmed based on early talks and investigation to include the most credible and interested possible purchasers. 

The procedure will then proceed to a one-step or two-step auction process, depending on the desirability of the target.

The memorandum created by the consultant is then circulated to prospective purchasers, who are invited to submit offers for the acquisition of the firm. 

Following the receipt of bids, the list is then filtered to include purchasers who have the highest offers, the fewest closing requirements, and the financial wherewithal to execute the deal.

The potential bidders are then asked to meet with the seller and the seller's advisors to discuss the transactions to raise offers or seal the purchase.

During the meeting, the purchasers are given a draft purchase agreement outlining the terms and circumstances of the transaction. They are obliged to submit their final offer for the transaction within a brief amount of time.

The written acquisition agreements are then sent back to the seller, who selects the buyer that satisfies the transaction's requirements and delivers the best offer. The buyer is granted exclusivity until the necessary permissions and funding are obtained. 

After the buyer has completed the due diligence and verified that all of the information provided by the seller is accurate, both parties meet and close the purchase in a timely way.

Conducting Targeted Auctions

The method for holding targeted auctions for the sale of taxpayer property pledged as a tax lien was approved by Order No. 571 of the Ministry of Revenue and Duties of Ukraine dated 10.10.2013.

The method states that not all property can be set aside for a targeted auction in the case of a tax dispute; the exclusions are:

  • Property that can be pooled or standardized.
  • Securities
  • Short-life items and other property with insufficient value for an auction.

The above-mentioned kinds of property are sold at competitive closed auctions.

The sale of the property on the stock market is governed by an agreement between the authorities of Ukraine's Ministry of Revenue and Duties and the commodity exchange. 

The Ministry's officials also determined the starting price of items per Ukraine's statute "On the evaluation of the property, property rights, and professional valuation activities in Ukraine."

Those wishing to participate in the auction must apply in writing to the auction organizer. Additionally, the registration fee must not exceed one minimum taxable income of residents, and each participant must contribute 10% of the lot's starting price.

The registrant has the option to decline to participate in the auction but must notify the auction organizer no later than one working day before the start date.

The auction method is as follows:

  1. Property is disposed of with the involvement of at least two purchasers.
  2. The auctioneer is elected directly by the organizer of the auction. There are two indicators of willingness to buy goods:
  3. Proposing a price without speaking (in order to raise an auction card).
  4. Orally offering a price. However, the price must be at least one bid increment higher than the auction price and must be divisible by the bid increment;
  5. The auctioneer has the authority to adjust the prices during the auction in accordance with the computation scale of the bid increment.
  6. At the request of the seller, an auctioneer has the power to exclude an item from the auction without justification prior to the sale.
  7. Property bought by the purchaser as a result of bidding at the auction can be transferred in accordance with the terms and circumstances indicated in the contract.

Successful Targeted Auction Elements

There are three main elements to take into consideration for the auctioneer to ensure that the auction is successful for both involved parties. 

The buyers should be examined to ensure that they have the financial resources to purchase the firm or the business. It is considerably easier to preserve secrecy & limit any potential business impact with a focused auction.

These are the three main elements that make an auction successful:

1. Financial resources & monetary capabilities 

Because of the high risks involved in the deal, the purchaser must be financially capable of executing it without trouble. If the purchaser lacks sufficient funds to fund the deal, they should be able to acquire funding from any financial institute.

2. Accessible business data

Before seeking offers, the seller must disclose thorough information about the firm to prospective purchasers. Prospective purchasers must also be given adequate time to review the information. 

Providing purchasers with appropriate information keeps them informed about business activities and allows them to determine whether or not to proceed with the acquisition. Prospective buyers submit bids to the vendor if they are pleased with the information.

3. More than one competent strategic buyer is present

For a targeted auction to be successful, it must include a number of eligible purchasers who have shown an interest in purchasing the firm. 

Having two or more bidders on the final buyer's list makes the auction more competitive, giving a better chance of receiving a higher valuation for the firm.

Pros and Cons of conducting Targeted Auctions

Targeted auctions offer company entrepreneurs some control over who may bid on their enterprises. 

This is how they work: A seller limits the number of bidders and shrinks the field to qualified prospects - purchasers with strong strategic reasons and the financial resources to undertake an acquisition.

This auction can streamline the sale process for in-demand businesses. However, such auctions may have a potential negative impact on the final valuation of the business.


1. A confined auction is a more effective and controlled method of gathering a buyer pool.

Sellers rarely have the time or resources to solicit competing offers from a wide range of possible purchasers. Small business owners, in particular, might be too preoccupied with day-to-day operations to spend their focus on recruiting and assessing prospective bids.

2. Targeted auctions are also enticing to businesses in specialist industries or those providing specialized services. 

In the M&A market, these companies typically struggle to attract enough buyers to promote competitive bidding. A targeted auction allows them to reach out to potential purchasers, even individuals who may not be aware of the selling firm.

3. Increased business value

This type of auction allows many eligible strategic bidders to compete for the firm, which benefits the seller. Each potential buyer puts a bid knowing that other bidders are also seeking to buy the same firm. 

It enhances the business valuation since each buyer seeks to outdo the other in order to take possession of the company.

4. Ideal for mid-sized businesses

It is appropriate for mid-sized businesses with well-established procedures and structures. Prospective purchasers for such firms include those with the financial clout to complete the acquisition.

5. Helps sellers in restricting access to proprietary information.

These auctions can also help sellers in having full control of sensitive information since it is easier to follow a limited number of prospective bidders. 

Furthermore, the selling procedure has less of an influence on the company's activities. When a seller has previously "preselected" its buyer, due diligence may be completed, and postmerger integration goes more easily.

6. The seller is in control.

Lastly, in an auction with a few chosen purchasers, the seller controls the process and may choose which possible buyers make the final list of bids, the projected purchase cost, and the end winner who gets to purchase the firm. 

Buyers must also agree with the seller's terms and conditions in order to advance to the next stage of the auction system.



1. Reduced chances of receiving a good offer

Despite the numerous benefits for purchasers, targeted auctions are not without danger. You may minimize your chances of obtaining an outsized offer from a few purchasers, such as private-equity funds if you limit your buyer pool to a selected few.

2. Buyers are aware of each other's acquisition strategy

A downside of a small group of purchasers is that each is likely to have knowledge of the others' acquisition plan and financial strength. 

If a buyer believes that rival bidders will not make a competitive counteroffer, it may be more conservative in its original offer and much more aggressive in its transaction conditions. 

Otherwise, the bidder may be aware that other bidders would submit higher bids with the goal of lowering them after due diligence.

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Researched and authored by Shannon Fernandes | LinkedIn

Reviewed and edited by Abhijeet Avhale | LinkedIn

Uploaded and published by Omair Reza Laskar | LinkedIn

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