Ritchie Bros. holds first-ever six-day unreserved equipment auction in Orlando, Florida



    More than 80% of the equipment sold to out-of-state buyers.

    ORLANDO, FL, Feb. 23 /CNW/ - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX:
RBA), the world's largest on-site and online industrial auctioneer, conducted
the Company's first six-day auction from February 16 to 21, 2009 at the
Company's newly expanded, 200-acre permanent auction site in Orlando, Florida.
The unreserved public auction attracted more than 7,600 unique registered
bidders, both in-person and online, from 75 countries. More than 8,300 lots
were sold during the auction, generating US$184 million in gross auction
proceeds. The auction broke several Orlando site records, including: the most
bidder registrations; the most auction lots sold; and the highest number of
consignors (more than 550). The auction also broke the Company-wide record for
the most selling days in a single auction.
    "Adding another 35 developed acres to our Orlando facility allowed us to
sell a much larger and broader selection of items than we did last year, which
enabled us to add a sixth day to our auction sale," said Gary Seybold,
Divisional Manager for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. "With the additional land,
we were able to add more auction lots to the sale, which broadened the mix of
equipment and offered a greater selection of equipment across all categories
to our buying customers."
    Every Ritchie Bros. online bidding record was broken at the Orlando
auction last week, including: the most registered bidders; the most buyers;
the most items sold online; and the largest gross auction proceeds generated
online at any Ritchie Bros. auction. For the first time ever, there were more
than 3,400 concurrent users on the system - the highest number of people
watching and bidding online at the same time in one Ritchie Bros. auction.
More than 3,000 of the 7,600 bidders registered to participate in the Orlando
auction live and in real-time over the internet, beating last year's record by
more than 1,000 online participants. Online bidders purchased more than US$36
million of trucks and equipment and were winner or runner up bidder on 27% of
the lots available online. There were 550 unique internet buyers.
    More than US$154 million (or 83%) was sold to buyers located outside the
state of Florida and more than US$61 million (or 34%) was sold to buyers
outside the United States.
    "Prices at our Orlando unreserved auction were holding steady and were
generally above the prices we were seeing in Q4 of 2008," said Peter Blake,
CEO of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. "We feel there are a number of reasons for
this, including the fact that we saw a high number of international buyers
participating, as we always do at the February Orlando auction. More than
US$21 million of equipment was sold to buyers in Central and South America,
close to US$20 million of equipment was sold to Canada, more than US$6 million
was sold to Mexico, and close to US$4 million was sold to the Middle East.
Although we were pleased with the values achieved at last week's auction, this
was just one auction and therefore, they aren't necessarily indicative of a
trend. Also, this auction had a much larger and more diverse mix of equipment
than we've seen in February auctions in Orlando in the last few years,
including more smaller lots, which had a meaningful effect on the average
value per lot for this auction."
    Louis Merucci is co-owner of Gigliotti Contracting, Inc., a well-known
utility and roadbuilding contractor based on the west coast of Florida in
Palmetto. He and his business partner decided to downsize and sold 100 pieces
of their well-maintained equipment in the Orlando Ritchie Bros. auction.
    "After 30 years in business and with the economic slowdown we decided it
was the right time to downsize," said Mr. Merucci, age 62. "Rather than let
all this iron sit in our yard while our workload was diminishing, we brought
it to Ritchie Bros. to sell to the world market. I was pleasantly surprised at
where the prices were on auction day and I really think we achieved those
prices because of the international crowd and due to the integrity of both my
company and Ritchie Bros."
    At the Orlando auction, Ritchie Bros. rolled out its new online shipping
service to its customers, in partnership with uShip.com - the world's largest
online shipping marketplace. As of the end of last week, there were in excess
of 1,000 auction lots listed by Orlando auction buyers on the new online
shipping service. The average number of bids received from transportation
service providers through the online shipping service so far is five per lot,
and many bids came within the first hour of a posting. The new service allows
the Company's on-site and online buyers to list their new purchases at any
auction and obtain competitive bids for transportation.
    The Company also recently rolled out its latest online bidding software
release, which features more images for online bidders and a multi-sale
dashboard, allowing bidders to participate in more than one Ritchie Bros.
auction at the same time. For the first time ever at an Orlando auction, the
Company broadcast three simultaneous auction rings to the internet bidding
audience.
    The Company is selling more than 38,350 truck and equipment items in 122
unreserved industrial and agricultural auctions scheduled on its upcoming
auction calendar, including the grand opening auction at the Company's new
Minneapolis, MN permanent auction site (March 19 and 20, 2009) and the grand
opening auction at the Company's new Houston, TX permanent auction site (March
25 to 27, 2009). The Company is also holding its first auctions at new sites
in Geelong (near Melbourne), Australia (March 19, 2009) and Mexico City,
Mexico (March 31, 2009). An agricultural auction is also scheduled for the
Company's new location in London, ON, Canada (April 1, 2009).

    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.

    
    ATTENTION: MEDIA - High-resolution photos from the Orlando auction
    (including aerial photos) can be downloaded for your use at
    www.rbauction.com/media
    





For further information:

For further information: Kim Schulz, Corporate Communications Manager,
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Cell: (604) 788-5379 or email:
kschulz@rbauction.com; Or Gary Seybold, Divisional Manager, Ritchie Bros.
Auctioneers, Auction Site Tel: (863) 420-9919


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