Company Builds New Saskatchewan Auction Theater and Holds Largest
Agricultural Auction in Canada; New Ohio Facility Opens, Bringing a Long-
awaited Presence to the US Midwest
VANCOUVER, April 16 /CNW/ - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
(TSX:RBA)(NYSE: RBA), the world's largest auctioneer of industrial equipment,
announces the results of two large unreserved auctions held last week. The
largest was a two-day grand opening auction at the Company's new Columbus,
Ohio auction facility, with buyers purchasing over US$29 million in gross
auction sales. The other large auction held last week was at the Company's
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan site. The Company held its auction in a newly built
auction facility there, and believes it was Canada's largest-ever unreserved
agricultural auction, with more than CA$14 million (over US$12 million) worth
of agricultural equipment and real estate sold.
"The strength of these results demonstrates that our growth strategy is
working," said Peter Blake, Chief Executive Officer of Ritchie Bros.
Auctioneers. "We are developing facilities in regional centers where there is
strong demand for our unreserved auctions, and we are able to connect our
customers who sell equipment to a global marketplace through our auctions."
COLUMBUS, OHIO (April 11 & 12, 2007)
The two-day auction in Columbus, Ohio broke a number of Company records
for that region, including the highest gross auction sales, the most
registered bidders - both in-person and on the internet - the highest online
gross auction sales, and the most auction lots sold.
More than 1,800 registered bidders participated in the two-day unreserved
Columbus auction, which generated gross auction sales of over US$29 million.
Over 700 of these bidders registered to use the Company's real-time bidding
service, rbauctionBid-Live, which allows people to participate in the auction
live and in real-time over the internet. Buyers made online purchases of close
to US$7 million during the auction, and were winning bidder or runner-up
bidder on 40 per cent of lots available on the internet.
The new facility in Columbus is strategically located to help Ritchie
Bros. customers in the US Midwest.
"As with all our facilities that we build around the world, we made a
concerted effort to find the perfect location when choosing this Columbus
site," said Ritchie Bros. Area Manager Scott McGregor. "Half the population of
the United States is within a 500-mile radius of Columbus, making it a
convenient place for both buyers to travel to and consignors to send their
equipment to. Our site is right on the interstate, in a high visibility
Sunbelt Rentals, the second-largest rental company in the United States,
was a major consignor at the two-day Columbus auction. Sunbelt was waiting in
eager anticipation for Ritchie Bros. to open its new facility and looks
forward to regular auction sales there:
"We like the way Ritchie Bros. conducts its auctions," said James Dennis,
Director of Fleet Operations for Sunbelt Rentals. "Unreserved lets people
realize they have a chance at purchasing something. It allows them to know
that somebody's going to buy that equipment and everyone has a fair chance. As
a consignor at a Ritchie Bros. auction, I can honestly say that an unreserved
auction doesn't scare me. Ritchie Bros. attracts the buyers and as a consignor
you know it's going to sell on auction day for global market value."
"We had interested buyers at our auction from 25 countries and 49 US
states, with 77 per cent of sales leaving Ohio," said Mr. McGregor. "A good
number of new registrants were familiar with our one-off auction sales but
they've never been to one of our full-service facilities - and they loved it.
They didn't realize how we have modernized the auction business for them."
SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN (April 11, 2007)
The Company had a very busy agricultural auction week last week, holding
25 unreserved agricultural auctions over a period of just seven days. As well,
the Company opened its new permanent auction facility in Saskatoon,
Saskatchewan with a record-breaking unreserved agricultural auction, which the
Company believes is the largest unreserved agricultural auction ever held in
Canada. More than 3,000 registered bidders participated in the auction, with
gross auction sales of more than CA$14 million (over US$12 million).
"More than 5,000 people attended our Saskatoon auction; it was
unbelievable," said Kevin Tink, Vice President of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
western division. "There was a large volume of extremely high calibre
agricultural equipment and with the strong demand, it made for a great
auction. We had bidders participating in the auction from all over Canada and
the United States, and from as far away as Italy, Germany, Australia, and the
United Arab Emirates."
The Company's new 20-acre facility is one of 35 auction sites that
Ritchie Bros. has around the world.
More than 400 of the bidders registered to use the Company's real-time
internet bidding service, rbauctionBid-Live. Buyers made online purchases of
over CA$2 million and internet participants were buyer or runner-up bidder on
23 percent of the lots available to be sold online.
Currently on the upcoming Ritchie Bros. auction calendar, there are over
21,200 truck and equipment items featured in more than 40 unreserved
industrial auctions and over 70 unreserved agricultural auctions. Details on
all upcoming Ritchie Bros. auctions are available on www.rbauction.com.
About Ritchie Bros.
Ritchie Bros. is the world's largest auctioneer of industrial equipment,
operating through over 110 locations in more than 25 countries around the
world. The Company sells, through unreserved public auctions, a broad range of
used and unused industrial equipment including equipment and other assets
utilized in the construction, transportation, material handling, mining,
forestry, petroleum, marine, real estate, and agricultural industries. The
Company maintains a website at www.rbauction.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.
Attention Media: Professional auction photos from both the Saskatoon and
Columbus auctions are available at www.rbauction.com/media, including
ribbon-cutting photos taken in Columbus.
For further information:
For further information: Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Kim Schulz,
Corporate Communications Manager, 1-800-663-8457 or (604) 273-7564, Email:
email@example.com, Website: www.rbauction.com