Ritchie Bros. delivers strong prices for consignors at multi-million dollar unreserved equipment auctions in Denver and Las Vegas

    VANCOUVER, March 17 /CNW/ - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and
TSX: RBA), the world's largest auctioneer of industrial equipment, delivered
strong prices for consignors by attracting worldwide bidding audiences to its
record-breaking unreserved public auctions in Denver, Colorado and Las Vegas,
Nevada last week. The March 11 & 12, 2008 auction at the Company's permanent
auction site in Denver generated US$20 million in gross auction proceeds and
set a new site record for internet bidding. The unreserved public auction in
Las Vegas on March 13, 14 & 15 generated almost US$54 million in gross auction
proceeds, making it the largest Las Vegas auction in Company history. Days One
and Two of the Las Vegas auction were conducted at the newest Ritchie Bros.
auction site - the Company's 38th site around the world - while Day Three was
held at an offsite location in Henderson, Nevada.
    Last week Ritchie Bros. also celebrated the Grand Opening of its new
Kansas City auction site - the Company's 18th permanent auction site in the
United States - with a multi-million dollar public auction; awarded Company
founder Dave Ritchie with a 50-year service pin during the Las Vegas auction;
and conducted multi-million dollar unreserved public auctions in Vancouver,
B.C.; Montreal, Quebec; Sagunto, Spain; and Toluca, Mexico.

    DENVER, COLORADO - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers set a new site record for
internet sales at its unreserved industrial auction in Denver, Colorado on
March 11 & 12, 2008. The public auction generated gross auction proceeds in
excess of US$20 million, more than US$6.4 million of which came from internet
buyers - a new Denver site record. Over 1,300 construction, transportation and
industrial equipment items from almost 300 consignors were sold in the two-day
auction, which attracted more than 2,000 registered bidders from 19 countries,
including 44 U.S. states and 12 Canadian provinces and territories. Over 670
of those people registered to bid using the Ritchie Bros. real-time internet
bidding service, rbauctionBid-Live.
    "We achieved strong prices at the auction, despite the weakness in the
local housing construction market," said Steve Merich, Ritchie Bros. Regional
Manager. "We saw strong participation from our international customers, and
very active online bidding by both North American and overseas bidders using
our internet bidding service. It's a convenient option for our customers who
can't make it to the auction in person."
    Eagle, Colorado-based Nexgen Constructors Inc. sold more than 20 trucks
and heavy equipment items in the unreserved auction as part of an overall
fleet upgrade. It was their first time selling at a Ritchie Bros. auction.
    "We were very satisfied with the prices we achieved on auction day,
especially for the heavy equipment," said Ed Woodland, Nexgen CFO. "I had
attended numerous Ritchie Bros. auctions and felt confident that they could
help us realize the best possible returns for our equipment. With Ritchie
Bros. you know that you are reaching a worldwide market, not just the Denver
market - people who can't come to the auction in person can bid over the
internet - and you have the certainty that everything will be sold on auction

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers conducted the largest Las
Vegas auction in Company history on March 13, 14 & 15, 2008, selling more than
1,500 lots for total gross auction proceeds of almost US$54 million. The
auction also set new Company records for number of consignors, number of
bidder registrations, number of internet bidder registrations and total online
sales at a Las Vegas auction. Days One and Two were conducted at the new
Ritchie Bros. regional auction unit in Las Vegas; Day Three was held offsite
in nearby Henderson. The three-day unreserved public auction generated more
than 5,600 bidder registrations (including more than 1,000 registrations to
bid online), with participants coming from 30 countries, including 48 U.S.
states and 11 Canadian provinces and territories. More than US$49 million of
equipment was sold to out-of-state bidders (more than 90 percent of the total
gross auction proceeds), including more than $15 million that was sold to
out-of-country bidders (almost 30 percent). Internet bidders purchased almost
US$8 million of equipment in the auction.
    "The auction went extremely well, with strong prices across the board and
especially good returns on transportation equipment, including heavy spec
trailers, lowboys and truck tractors," said Jim Rotlisberger, Ritchie Bros.
Regional Manager. "We have developed a loyal customer base in this region over
the years and look forward to serving our customers from this new auction
site, which offers good highway visibility and easy access to transportation
routes. The size of this auction, and the prices we achieved, demonstrate that
both buyers and sellers of industrial equipment appreciate the presence of
Ritchie Bros. in Las Vegas."
    Diamond Construction Co. Inc., a Nevada-based general engineering
contractor, was a major consignor at the Las Vegas auction, selling almost 120
industrial equipment items, including cone and jaw crushers, wheel loaders,
motor scrapers, motor graders and crawler tractors. The company was pleased
with the results of the auction.
    "The market in Nevada has slowed considerably but we were able to achieve
excellent returns on our surplus equipment at the auction," said Darren
Peterson, president and CEO of Diamond Construction. "Ritchie Bros. offers the
best and simplest way to sell a large fleet of equipment. They promote your
equipment well, which brings in the buyers and helps you achieve good values,
and you don't have to wait weeks or months for everything to sell."

    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.

    Attention Media: Auction photos from last week, as well as photos of Dave
    Ritchie receiving his 50-year recognition pin, are available by
    contacting Kim Schulz at Ritchie Bros.

For further information:

For further information: Kim Schulz, Corporate Communications Manager,
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Mob: (604) 788-5379 or email:
kschulz@rbauction.com; Or Steve Merich, Regional Manager, Ritchie Bros.
Auctioneers, Denver auction site tel: (970) 535-6700; Or Jim Rotlisberger,
Regional Manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Las Vegas auction site, (702)

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