Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated

April 16, 2007 07:00 ET

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Opens New Facilities in Canada and the US

Company Builds New Saskatchewan Auction Theater and Holds Largest Agricultural Auction in Canada; New Ohio Facility Opens, Bringing a Long-awaited Presence to the US Midwest

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - April 16, 2007) - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (TSX:RBA)(NYSE:RBA), the world's largest auctioneer of industrial equipment, announces the results of two large unreserved auctions held last week. The largest was a two-day grand opening auction at the Company's new Columbus, Ohio auction facility, with buyers purchasing over US$29 million in gross auction sales. The other large auction held last week was at the Company's Saskatoon, Saskatchewan site. The Company held its auction in a newly built auction facility there, and believes it was Canada's largest-ever unreserved agricultural auction, with more than CA$14 million (over US$12 million) worth of agricultural equipment and real estate sold.

"The strength of these results demonstrates that our growth strategy is working," said Peter Blake, Chief Executive Officer of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. "We are developing facilities in regional centers where there is strong demand for our unreserved auctions, and we are able to connect our customers who sell equipment to a global marketplace through our auctions."

COLUMBUS, OHIO (April 11 & 12, 2007)

The two-day auction in Columbus, Ohio broke a number of Company records for that region, including the highest gross auction sales, the most registered bidders - both in-person and on the internet - the highest online gross auction sales, and the most auction lots sold.

More than 1,800 registered bidders participated in the two-day unreserved Columbus auction, which generated gross auction sales of over US$29 million. Over 700 of these bidders registered to use the Company's real-time bidding service, rbauctionBid-Live, which allows people to participate in the auction live and in real-time over the internet. Buyers made online purchases of close to US$7 million during the auction, and were winning bidder or runner-up bidder on 40 per cent of lots available on the internet.

The new facility in Columbus is strategically located to help Ritchie Bros. customers in the US Midwest.

"As with all our facilities that we build around the world, we made a concerted effort to find the perfect location when choosing this Columbus site," said Ritchie Bros. Area Manager Scott McGregor. "Half the population of the United States is within a 500-mile radius of Columbus, making it a convenient place for both buyers to travel to and consignors to send their equipment to. Our site is right on the interstate, in a high visibility location."

Sunbelt Rentals, the second-largest rental company in the United States, was a major consignor at the two-day Columbus auction. Sunbelt was waiting in eager anticipation for Ritchie Bros. to open its new facility and looks forward to regular auction sales there:

"We like the way Ritchie Bros. conducts its auctions," said James Dennis, Director of Fleet Operations for Sunbelt Rentals. "Unreserved lets people realize they have a chance at purchasing something. It allows them
to know that somebody's going to buy that equipment and everyone has a fair chance. As a consignor at a Ritchie Bros. auction, I can honestly say that an unreserved auction doesn't scare me. Ritchie Bros. attracts the buyers and as a consignor you know it's going to sell on auction day for global market value."

"We had interested buyers at our auction from 25 countries and 49 US states, with 77 per cent of sales leaving Ohio," said Mr. McGregor. "A good number of new registrants were familiar with our one-off auction sales but they've never been to one of our full-service facilities - and they loved it. They didn't realize how we have modernized the auction business for them."


The Company had a very busy agricultural auction week last week, holding 25 unreserved agricultural auctions over a period of just seven days. As well, the Company opened its new permanent auction facility in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with a record-breaking unreserved agricultural auction, which the Company believes is the largest unreserved agricultural auction ever held in Canada. More than 3,000 registered bidders participated in the auction, with gross auction sales of more than CA$14 million (over US$12 million).

"More than 5,000 people attended our Saskatoon auction; it was unbelievable," said Kevin Tink, Vice President of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers western division. "There was a large volume of extremely high calibre agricultural equipment and with the strong demand, it made for a great auction. We had bidders participating in the auction from all over Canada and the United States, and from as far away as Italy, Germany, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates."

The Company's new 20-acre facility is one of 35 auction sites that Ritchie Bros. has around the world.

More than 400 of the bidders registered to use the Company's real-time internet bidding service, rbauctionBid-Live. Buyers made online purchases of over CA$2 million and internet participants were buyer or runner-up bidder on 23 percent of the lots available to be sold online.

Currently on the upcoming Ritchie Bros. auction calendar, there are over 21,200 truck and equipment items featured in more than 40 unreserved industrial auctions and over 70 unreserved agricultural auctions. Details on all upcoming Ritchie Bros. auctions are available on www.rbauction.com.

About Ritchie Bros.

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 equipment including equipment and other assets utilized in the construction, transportation, material handling, mining, forestry, petroleum, marine, real estate, and agricultural industries. The Company maintains a website at www.rbauction.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: Professional auction photos from both the Saskatoon and Columbus auctions are available at www.rbauction.com/media, including ribbon-cutting photos taken in Columbus.

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