B.C. auction giant Ritchie Bros. expanding footprint with $1.3b acquisition

Burnaby company acquiring U.K.-based Euro Auctions

Ritchie Bros. acquiring Euro Auctions for $1.3 billion | Photo: Submitted

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (TSX:RBA)(NYSE:RBA) has taken a fancy to a competitor from across the pond.

The Burnaby-based auction giant revealed Monday it’s paying £775 million ($1.35 billion) to acquire Euro Auctions UK Ltd. in a bid to expand its global footprint.

The all-cash deal sees Ritchie Bros. taking a 100% equity stake in the British firm’s entire portfolio of companies. The deal is being funded through a mix of cash and new debt, with a bridge financing commitment coming from Goldman Sachs Bank USA.

The deal is expected to close either late this year or in late 2021.

Both Ritchie Bros. and Euro Auctions are best known for facilitating sales of heavy equipment and trucks through live auctions and online bidding.

The acquisition deal sees Ritchie Bros. absorbing 200 employees based in 14 different countries, bringing the Canadian auction firm’s global headcount to about 2,800 workers, according to BIV data.

"Dave Ritchie and his brothers were a big inspiration for my brothers and I in the creation of Euro Auctions. We modelled much of what we do off Dave's customer-centric philosophy, which still runs through Ritchie Bros. today,” Euro Auctions founder and director Derek Keys said in a statement, referring to the founders of the Canadian company.

Euro Auctions will continue operating under its current brands following the close of the deal (the company also operates under the Yoder & Frey Auctioneers LLC brand in some markets).

“This acquisition significantly accelerates our strategy to drive revenue and earnings growth, and add shareholder value by continuing to expand our capabilities in new channels, sectors, regions and customer segments," Ritchie Bros. CEO Ann Fandozzi said in a statement.

This deal comes less than a year after Ritchie Bros. acquired U.S. data intelligence firm Rouse Services LLC for US$275 million ($366 million at the time).

The California-based company specializes in construction equipment market intelligence, including rental analytics, support for equipment sales and fleet appraisals.

torton@biv.com

@reporton