Prices strong at Ritchie Bros.' US$45 million Orlando auction despite market turmoil

    ORLANDO, FL, Oct. 20 /CNW/ - Recent market turmoil and economic
uncertainty had little impact on auction prices at the US$45 million
unreserved public auction conducted by Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and
TSX: RBA) in Orlando, Florida last week. More than 1,800 on-site and online
bidders from 48 countries, including 46 U.S. states, registered to bid on more
than 2,500 trucks and heavy equipment items being sold at the two-day auction.
    Buyers from outside the state of Florida purchased more than
US$32 million of equipment (72 percent of the total), including almost
US$15 million of equipment (33 percent) that was purchased by people from
outside the United States. Ritchie Bros. (, the world's
largest auctioneer of industrial equipment, conducted the unreserved public
auction at its permanent auction site in Orlando on October 15 & 16, 2008.
    "We weren't sure what the impact of the recent market activity would be
at the auction but prices were surprisingly strong," said Gary Seybold,
Ritchie Bros. Regional Manager. "Our ability to consistently attract a large
crowd of bidders from many different countries and industries enables
equipment sellers to overcome challenging local market conditions. There's
always someone, somewhere looking for machines to put to work. We had more
than 1,000 people from as far away as the U.K., Italy and Canada bidding in
person at our Orlando auction site last week, and hundreds more bidding over
the internet."
    Kelly Tractor - a Miami, Florida-based Caterpillar equipment dealer - was
one of almost 290 consignors at last week's Orlando auction. The company has
been selling surplus equipment at Ritchie Bros. auctions for more than
20 years - about US$15 million of equipment this year alone.
    "We anticipated the slowdown in the rental sector, so we've reduced our
rental fleet over the past couple of years," said Gary Warren, Rental and Used
Equipment Manager for Kelly Tractor. "Ritchie Bros. helps us reach a global
audience of buyers, in person and online, which is what keeps prices strong.
Given the state of the economy right now, we expected prices to be down at the
Orlando auction but we were pleased with the results; they were right where we
hoped they'd be."

    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 and sponsors an equipment wiki at
    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, Head office tel: 1-800-663-8457 or mobile: (604)
788-5379 or email:; Or Gary Seybold, Regional Manager,
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Orlando auction site tel: (863) 420-9919

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