Ritchie Bros. buyers break internet participation record at Las Vegas unreserved auction

LAS VEGAS, May 4 /CNW/ – Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX: RBA), the world's largest industrial auctioneer, conducted a US$25 million unreserved auction on May 1, 2009 at its Las Vegas auction site and attracted more than 1,800 unique registered bidders from 27 countries around the world, including 47 US states and every Canadian province. More than 1,300 lots were sold on auction day, with 30% of the lots (more than US$8 million worth of trucks and equipment) sold to buyers bidding live and in real time over the internet. More than 950 unique bidders participated online during the auction and 211 internet buyers were successful purchasers — the most internet buyers at a Las Vegas auction. Ninety-one percent of the trucks and equipment (based on dollar amount) left the state of Nevada; twenty-seven percent left the United States.

"Equipment prices at the auction were good – we are seeing some stabilization in the market, and our sale in particular had a lot of late model, low hour gear," said Jim Rotlisberger, Ritchie Bros. Regional Manager. "We had two major consignors with very large equipment packages in the sale: Cashman Equipment, which consigned a great package, and Reyburn Landscaping, which was a complete dispersal. The fact that both companies' equipment was late model and low hour, and that they both have great reputations, was a big plus for interested bidders on auction day. We also had a large selection of equipment in the sale from about 140 other consignors. This sale really demonstrated the power of our web site for our sellers. With more than 200,000 unique visitors going to rbauction.com each week, it allows us to get the word out to interested buyers around the world, right up to auction time."

Started in 1979, Reyburn Landscape Companies was sold to private equity firms in 2006. Recently, though Reyburn was solvent, those firms decided to cease operations due to economic conditions in Las Vegas. The company has a very good reputation for good, quality work and well-maintained equipment, not only in landscaping but also in trucking, grading, maintenance, paving and storm water protection. Most of their jobs have wound down, and their landscaping and irrigation work for Lorenzi Park is almost complete. They had over 200 equipment items to sell, including wheel loaders, skid steer loaders, transportation and trucking equipment – and instead of selling it all privately, they turned to Ritchie Bros. just three weeks prior to the auction.

"We are very happy with how the auction went," said Brian Reyburn, Vice President of Finance for Reyburn Landscape Companies. "Ritchie Bros. had to make it happen within a short period of time and they were still able to market our pieces to buyers around the globe. The first time we sold equipment with Ritchie Bros. was in 2007, so we knew they could sell our equipment to buyers from outside the Las Vegas area. There are risks associated with trying to sell all equipment privately and in our own local market in a down economy. The partners wanted to wrap things up soon, so it made sense to bring it to the Las Vegas auction and sell it all on one day. It was a lot easier than trying to take care of it ourselves. Buyers purchased our equipment from all over the US and from places as far away as Australia, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

" Ritchie Bros. conducted 10 unreserved agricultural and industrial auctions last week, including the largest equipment auction ever held in Canada (see Edmonton, AB news release issued May 1, 2009 for more details). There are 78 unreserved public auctions currently on the Ritchie Bros. auction calendar, including a two-day auction in Toronto, ON (May 5-6, 2009), a two-day auction in Phoenix, AZ (May 5-6,2009), a three-day auction in Fort Worth, TX (May 6-8, 2009), and single day auctions in Prince George, BC (May 7, 2009), Salt Lake City, UT (May 8, 2009), and in Kamloops, BC (May 9, 2009). Please visit www.rbauction.com for more details.

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 www.rbauction.com and sponsors an equipment wiki at www.RitchieWiki.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. For further information: Kim Schulz, Corporate Communications Manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Mobile: (604) 788-5379 or email: [email protected]; Or Jim Rotlisberger, Regional Manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Las Vegas auction site tel: (702) 644-2468