Record set with final 2009 auction at Ritchie Bros.' Edmonton site

CA$392 million (US$344 million) of equipment sold at site in 2009

VANCOUVER, Dec. 14 /CNW/ - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX: RBA) conducted a CA$58 million (US$54 million) unreserved public auction at its Edmonton, Alberta auction site last week (December 10 & 11, 2009), bringing the total 2009 gross auction proceeds generated by that site to CA$392 million (US$344 million) - the most equipment ever sold at one Ritchie Bros. auction site in one year.

Ritchie Bros. (www.rbauction.com), the world's largest industrial auctioneer, conducted 10 other unreserved auctions last week, including the Grand Opening auction at its new permanent auction site in Polotitlan, Mexico (December 8) and a US$20 million auction at its permanent auction site in Olympia, WA (December 10 & 11).

EDMONTON, AB - More than 4,600 people from 18 countries registered to bid on more than 3,500 equipment items sold at the unreserved Ritchie Bros. auction in Edmonton on December 10 & 11. Bidders from outside Alberta purchased CA$23 million of equipment (US$21 million, or 39 percent).

"We conducted a record six auctions at our Edmonton site this year to meet the needs of our customers," said Jake Lawson, Ritchie Bros. Regional Manager. "We helped thousands of people with equipment to sell, and thousands of bidders who were looking to buy. Our customers rely on us because we create a fair, open, global marketplace at our unreserved auctions. We had a wonderful lineup of late model equipment in this auction; the large selection and the fair, unreserved bidding process brought people from afar and helped return good prices for our sellers. Prices appear to have firmed up and there's a good degree of optimism in the market."

OLYMPIA, WA - More than 2,800 unique on-site and online bidders from 24 countries participated in the US$20 million auction conducted by Ritchie Bros. in Olympia, WA on December 10 & 11, 2009. Online bidders purchased US$7 million of equipment and trucks (32 percent), setting a new site record for online purchases.

"Online bidding is a great option for our customers," said Rob Giroux, Ritchie Bros. Regional Manager. "It gives them the ability to bid on and buy equipment from our auctions all over the world, but most people still prefer the experience of attending the auction: inspecting the equipment, meeting with their colleagues and seeing each item as it's sold. We had a huge crowd here at the auction site despite the inclement winter weather. In the end, our ability to attract large global on-site and online bidding audiences drives strong returns for our consignors."

Dave Shoemaker and Gary Remlinger, partners in Earth to Earth Construction, sold close to a million dollars of heavy equipment in the Olympia auction. This was their first time selling through Ritchie Bros.

"We've still got jobs going on, but work is slower due to the economy so we decided to downsize our fleet," said Mr. Shoemaker. "Mike Esser, our Ritchie Bros. representative, walked us through this process from start to finish and gave us a great deal of comfort going into the auction. He was personal, professional and sincere, and he worked so hard on our behalf. He didn't sign the deal and then forget about us; we developed a relationship. And on auction day we ended up doing far better than we expected. We are very happy with the results."

    
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                                         Edmonton               Olympia
                                  (Dec. 10 & 11, 2009)   (Dec. 10 & 11, 2009)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gross auction                     CA$58 million          US$20 million
     proceeds (GAP)                  (US$54 million)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    GAP from online bidders           CA$18 million           US$7 million
                                    (US$17 million or         (32 percent)
                                        31 percent)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unique bidders (on-site
     and online)                           4,600+                 2,800+
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lots sold                              3,500+                 2,100+
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

POLOTITLAN, MEXICO - Hundreds of bidders from 10 countries, including 29 Mexican states, joined local dignitaries and a large crowd of interested onlookers at the multi-million dollar Grand Opening auction at Ritchie Bros.' new permanent auction site in Polotitlan, Mexico on December 8, 2009. Equipment in the auction was sold to buyers from as far away as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Italy.

About Ritchie Bros.

Established in 1958, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX: RBA) is the world's largest industrial auctioneer, selling more equipment to on-site and online bidders than any other company in the world. The Company has over 110 locations in more than 25 countries, including 39 auction sites worldwide. Ritchie Bros. sells, through unreserved public auctions, a broad range of used and unused industrial assets, including equipment, trucks and other assets utilized in the construction, transportation, agricultural, material handling, mining, forestry, petroleum and marine industries. The Company maintains a web site at www.rbauction.com and sponsors an equipment wiki at www.RitchieWiki.com.

Investors and potential investors should note that this information may not be indicative of the overall financial performance of the Company for this or any period.

    
    Photos for media use:
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High resolution Polotitlan Grand Opening photos can be downloaded from www.rbauction.com/media.

SOURCE Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

For further information: For further information: Kim Schulz, Manager, Corporate Communications, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Mobile: (604) 788-5379 or email: kschulz@rbauction.com; Or Jake Lawson, Regional Manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Edmonton auction site tel: (780) 955-2486; Or Rob Giroux, Regional Manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Olympia auction site tel: (360) 956-1500


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