Ritchie Bros acquires IronPlanet for $758.5m

On-site construction equipment auctioneer Ritchie Bros takes over online competitor and signs major deal with Caterpillar

A view across Ritchie Bros' storage lot.
A view across Ritchie Bros' storage lot.

Construction equipment auctioneer and distributor Ritchie Bros has acquired online used equipment and auction marketplace IronPlanet in a deal worth approximately $758.5m, and announced a strategic alliance with Caterpillar.

Founded in 1999, IronPlanet sells machinery primarily through weekly online auctions, and in 2015, sold around $787m of equipment. Ritchie Bros and IronPlanet together sold over $3bn of equipment in the 12 months, ended June 2016.

Ritchie Bros CEO, Ravi Saligram, said the deal was the next logical step in the company’s expansion, providing greater scale and choice for customers, noting: “Our commitment to diversifying our offerings is directly in line with customer demand for multiple selling and buying solutions.

“Together with IronPlanet, we will create a combined company of trusted brands with the ability to provide customers around the world with a greater number of choices and platforms to sell, buy and list equipment when, where and how they want – whether onsite or online.”

Gregory Owens, chairman and CEO of IronPlanet, commented: “IronPlanet has built a leading online marketplace and technology platform across a number of verticals, which, combined with Ritchie Bros’ strength in on-site auctions, will be a powerful combination for our customers.”

On completion of the IronPlanet acquisition, Ritchie Bros said it would also start an initial five-year strategic alliance with Caterpillar that will see it become the manufacturer’s preferred global partner for live on-site and online auctions.

Ritchie Bros said the deal will provide Caterpillar and its dealers with access to its platforms and enhance the exchange of information and services between customers, dealers and suppliers.

Rob Charter, group president for Caterpillar’s Customer and Dealer Support, said, “This alliance will ensure that more used equipment buyers have access to support through the Cat dealer network. We are beginning an exciting new chapter in our relationship to better serve our global customers.”

Caterpillar owns a minority stake in IronPlanet.

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