Ritchie Bros. conducts largest auction in company's 50-year history in Orlando

    Close to 6,200 trucks and heavy equipment items sold for total gross
    auction proceeds in excess of US$190 million

    ORLANDO, FL, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and
TSX: RBA) conducted the largest auction in its 50-year history last week,
selling almost 6,200 lots over five days for total gross auction proceeds in
excess of US$190 million. The Company sold more than US$51 million of trucks
and heavy equipment on Day Three of the auction: the most equipment ever sold
at a Ritchie Bros. auction in one day. Ritchie Bros., the world's largest
industrial auctioneer, conducted the unreserved public auction at its
permanent auction site in Orlando, Florida on February 19 - 23, 2008. The
auction surpassed the Company's previous largest auction - a US$172 million
auction conducted at the same site in February 2007.
    More than 6,000 people from 71 countries, including all 50 U.S. states
and all 13 Canadian provinces and territories, registered to bid in the
auction either on site or online. Almost US$159 million of equipment
(representing 83 percent of the total gross auction proceeds) was sold to
buyers from outside the state of Florida, including more than US$68 million of
equipment (36 percent of the total) that was sold to out-of-country bidders.
    Last week's auction also set new company internet bidding records. More
than 2,000 of the registered bidders participated online using the Ritchie
Bros. real-time internet bidding service, rbauctionBid-Live, purchasing close
to US$30 million of equipment. Internet bidders were winner or runner up on
30 percent of the lots available online.
    "We're continuing to see strong demand for equipment in many sectors and
geographic markets around the world, and that was reflected in the
international presence at the auction, as well as the results we achieved and
the records we broke," said Peter Blake, Ritchie Bros. CEO. "The participation
of bidders from around the world, both on site and online, helped our local
consignors overcome the current economic conditions in the U.S. and achieve
global fair market value for their equipment. Our February Orlando auction is
by far the world's largest industrial auction, but we deliver this global
marketplace to our customers at over 180 industrial auctions around the world
each year."
    Gary Seybold, Ritchie Bros. Regional Manager, said, "The auction was a
great success. We saw stronger prices than we did during the fourth quarter of
2007, with especially good returns on motor graders, highway paving equipment
and cranes. We had on-site bidders from as far away as Australia, Africa,
Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, with active bidding from all over
the world via the internet."
    The auction featured equipment from more than 550 consignors, including
Jacksonville, Florida-based Ring Power Corporation, one of the largest
Caterpillar equipment dealers in the Southeastern United States. Frank Fowler,
Ring Power's Vice President of Used Equipment, has consigned more than
US$270 million of equipment at Ritchie Bros. auctions over the past 20 years,
including more than 140 items in this auction. Ring Power has historically
been the primary consignor at Ritchie Bros.' February Orlando auctions.
    "Ritchie Bros.' February Orlando auction is the premier auction of the
year; it sets the stage for what's to come," said Mr. Fowler. "The combination
of Ring Power and Ritchie Bros. creates excitement and attracts people from
all over the world. The demand from the international bidders was even more
important to us this year, with the economy in the United States being the way
it is. Our returns from this auction were significantly better than we
    Among the equipment sold in the five-day auction: more than 70 cranes,
340 hydraulic excavators, 290 wheel loaders, 180 articulated dump trucks,
350 crawler tractors, 130 loader backhoes, 30 pavers, 140 drum rollers,
130 truck tractors, 230 boom lifts, 90 scissor lifts, 290 telescopic forklifts
and 180 forklifts.

    ATTENTION MEDIA - PHOTOS: Orlando auction photos, including a site
    aerial, are available at www.rbauction.com/media.

    About Ritchie Bros.

    Established in 1958, 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 assets, including
equipment, trucks and other assets utilized in the construction,
transportation, material handling, mining, forestry, petroleum, marine, real
estate, and agricultural industries. The Company maintains a web site 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: (604) 788-5379 or 1-800-663-8457
or email: kschulz@rbauction.com; Or Gary Seybold, Regional Manager, Ritchie
Bros. Auctioneers Orlando auction site tel: (863) 420-9919

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890