Ritchie Bros. buyers break internet participation record at Las Vegas unreserved auction



    More than 90% of equipment and truck value sold outside Nevada

    LAS VEGAS, May 4 /CNW/ - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX: RBA),
the world's largest industrial auctioneer, conducted a US$25 million
unreserved auction on May 1, 2009 at its Las Vegas auction site and attracted
more than 1,800 unique registered bidders from 27 countries around the world,
including 47 US states and every Canadian province. More than 1,300 lots were
sold on auction day, with 30% of the lots (more than US$8 million worth of
trucks and equipment) sold to buyers bidding live and in real time over the
internet. More than 950 unique bidders participated online during the auction
and 211 internet buyers were successful purchasers -- the most internet buyers
at a Las Vegas auction. Ninety-one percent of the trucks and equipment (based
on dollar amount) left the state of Nevada; twenty-seven percent left the
United States.
    "Equipment prices at the auction were good - we are seeing some
stabilization in the market, and our sale in particular had a lot of late
model, low hour gear," said Jim Rotlisberger, Ritchie Bros. Regional Manager.
"We had two major consignors with very large equipment packages in the sale:
Cashman Equipment, which consigned a great package, and Reyburn Landscaping,
which was a complete dispersal. The fact that both companies' equipment was
late model and low hour, and that they both have great reputations, was a big
plus for interested bidders on auction day. We also had a large selection of
equipment in the sale from about 140 other consignors. This sale really
demonstrated the power of our web site for our sellers. With more than 200,000
unique visitors going to rbauction.com each week, it allows us to get the word
out to interested buyers around the world, right up to auction time."
    Started in 1979, Reyburn Landscape Companies was sold to private equity
firms in 2006. Recently, though Reyburn was solvent, those firms decided to
cease operations due to economic conditions in Las Vegas. The company has a
very good reputation for good, quality work and well-maintained equipment, not
only in landscaping but also in trucking, grading, maintenance, paving and
storm water protection. Most of their jobs have wound down, and their
landscaping and irrigation work for Lorenzi Park is almost complete. They had
over 200 equipment items to sell, including wheel loaders, skid steer loaders,
transportation and trucking equipment - and instead of selling it all
privately, they turned to Ritchie Bros. just three weeks prior to the auction.
    "We are very happy with how the auction went," said Brian Reyburn, Vice
President of Finance for Reyburn Landscape Companies. "Ritchie Bros. had to
make it happen within a short period of time and they were still able to
market our pieces to buyers around the globe. The first time we sold equipment
with Ritchie Bros. was in 2007, so we knew they could sell our equipment to
buyers from outside the Las Vegas area. There are risks associated with trying
to sell all equipment privately and in our own local market in a down economy.
The partners wanted to wrap things up soon, so it made sense to bring it to
the Las Vegas auction and sell it all on one day. It was a lot easier than
trying to take care of it ourselves. Buyers purchased our equipment from all
over the US and from places as far away as Australia, the United Kingdom and
the Middle East."
    Ritchie Bros. conducted 10 unreserved agricultural and industrial
auctions last week, including the largest equipment auction ever held in
Canada (see Edmonton, AB news release issued May 1, 2009 for more details).
There are 78 unreserved public auctions currently on the Ritchie Bros. auction
calendar, including a two-day auction in Toronto, ON (May 5-6, 2009), a
two-day auction in Phoenix, AZ (May 5-6,2009), a three-day auction in Fort
Worth, TX (May 6-8, 2009), and single day auctions in Prince George, BC (May
7, 2009), Salt Lake City, UT (May 8, 2009), and in Kamloops, BC (May 9, 2009).
Please visit www.rbauction.com for more details.

    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 38 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.





For further information:

For further information: Kim Schulz, Corporate Communications Manager,
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Mobile: (604) 788-5379 or email:
kschulz@rbauction.com; Or Jim Rotlisberger, Regional Manager, Ritchie Bros.
Auctioneers, Las Vegas auction site tel: (702) 644-2468


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