Ritchie Bros. acquisition spree lands SmartEquip for US$175m

Third major acquisition for Burnaby-based auctioneers in 11 months

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

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc.’s (TSX:RBA)(NYSE:RBA) yearlong acquisition spree has found its latest target.

The Burnaby-based auction giant revealed Monday it’s taking a 100% equity stake in SmartEquip Inc. in a deal worth about US$175 million.

Ritchie Bros. is best known for facilitating sales of heavy equipment and trucks through live auctions and online bidding, while SmartEquip specializes in helping enterprise consumers acquirement equipment parts, such as for large fleets, and managing equipment service.

The Connecticut-based does about US$1 billion annually in transactions for more than 600 brands.

The SmartEquip deal marks the third major acquisition for Ritchie Bros. in the past 11 months, during which it paid US$275 million for U.S. data firm Rouse Services LLC and £775 million ($1.35 billion) for competitor Euro Auctions UK Ltd.

Ritchie Bros. has spent about $1.92 billion on acquisitions since last October.

"This acquisition furthers our goal of providing the best experience for our customers as we continue our transition from a traditional auctioneer to a marketplace for insights, services and transaction solutions for commercial assets," Ritchie Bros. CEO Ann Fandozzi said in a statement.

About 60 workers from SmartEquipm will join the new parent company, which has about 2,250 workers worldwide, including about 550 based in B.C.