Tiger Group Sets 2019 Sales Record for Pro-Grade AV Gear

The audiovisual vertical within Tiger Group’s Commercial & Industrial Division posted record sales of excess and underutilized AV equipment in 2019, further cementing its position as a leader in the disposition and appraisal of pro-grade AV gear.

“Total dollar volume for AV auctions, liquidations and turnkey business sales climbed 50% over already-strong 2018 levels,” said Jonathan Holiday, director of Business Development, Tiger Commercial & Industrial. “The growth was fueled by a 52% jump in unit sales to approximately 4,100 pieces last year, up from 2,705 in 2018. The 2019 total excludes more than 18,000 Tiffen filters—one of the largest such inventories to be sold in the open market.”

“Factors driving the AV vertical’s performance included gear needed to meet the robust demand for new films and TV shows at home and abroad, asset redundancies created by M&A among top equipment-rental firms, and a continued focus on global buyer outreach and high-touch customer service by Tiger’s veteran AV team,” said Holiday, who leads the firm’s AV vertical. “Successful projects executed by Tiger—some in partnership with other companies—included those for PRG/VER, Keslow Camera, Illumination Dynamics, Digital Film Studios, and Eastern TV, to name a few.”

Buyers hailing from 35 states and 17 countries—including Israel, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand—vied for lenses from Cooke, Zeiss and Ultra Prime, as well as digital cameras such as the Arri Alexa Classics, 4:3 and XT and the Sony PMW-F55. In one noteworthy sale, a prominent rental company in China acquired 14 high-end zoom lenses (Angénieux Optimo 24-290 T2.8). Demand was also strong for a wide range of grip equipment and traditional lighting.

“All told, the number of buyers and bidders we worked with last year grew by 40%,” Holiday said. “We continue to ramp up the reach and sophistication of our global marketing campaigns in support of our sale solutions.”

Over the course of 2019, Tiger’s AV vertical worked with multiple healthy rental and production companies to strengthen their competitiveness. But the firm also assisted companies seeking to downsize operations or exit the business. A particular highlight, Holiday noted, was the turnkey sale of North Hollywood-based Cineworks, a 40-year-old lighting and grip rental company, whose owner initially retained Tiger to evaluate and liquidate its inventories in connection with her retirement. “Through the turnkey sale, the owner benefitted from a recovery value that was nearly double the likely result of auctioning the excess assets alone,” Holiday said. “Cineworks was able to continue operating, a happy result for all parties.”

Consolidation continued to be a major trend in the industry over the past two years, with leaders such as Keslow Camera acquiring Clairmont Camera, and PRG merging with VER. Last year, Tiger helped both Keslow and PRG eliminate inventory redundancies resulting from their M&A’s. “We took a strategic, holistic approach to open up much-needed warehouse space for them and eliminate redundant and older gear, without impacting their ongoing business,” Holiday said. “Revenue generated from surplus sales allowed Keslow and PRG to purchase new gear to support their rental demands for next-generation productions.”

For AV clients, strategies available from Tiger include live, webcast or online-only auction events conducted via SoldTiger.com, in addition to turnkey sales, liquidations, sealed-bid offerings and private-treaty sales. In 2019, among the clients that took advantage of such services was noted LA filmmaker, cinematographer and lighting director Ted Hayash of Digital Film Studios, an equipment and production services firm. “Tiger Group and Jonathan Holiday were instrumental in helping us streamline our business,” Hayash said. “They provided expert cataloging of our assets while marketing to a huge audience, resulting in an overall success for everyone involved.”

With a sell-through rate of nearly 100%, Tiger’s AV vertical focuses exclusively on selling equipment in this space. “We have spent years honing our skills in AV marketing, sales and customer service,” said Holiday, who was invited by the Production Equipment Rental Group (PERG) Council to address its members at an event at the Las Vegas NAB Show in April. “We’re passionate about empowering our clients to do what they do best— rent professional-grade AV gear and produce the movies, ads and TV shows that are in high demand the world over.”

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