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Record numbers bid on equipment in unreserved Ritchie Bros. Grande Prairie auction

04/20/2009

Ritchie Bros. also announces support of library in Grande Prairie's new Montrose Cultural Centre

GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALBERTA (April 20, 2009) – More than 5,400 people from 17 countries registered to bid on CA$32 million (US$27 million) of equipment sold at an unreserved public auction in Grande Prairie, Alberta last week. Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX: RBA), the world's largest industrial auctioneer, conducted the auction at its permanent auction site in Grande Prairie on April 15 & 16, 2009, setting new site records for total and online bidder registrations, as well as online sales. One in four people registered to bid in real time over the internet; online bidders purchased almost CA$11 million (US$9 million) of equipment. Among over 2,300 items sold: construction, agricultural and transportation equipment, consumer items and real estate.

"A lot of people are selling equipment right now because of the downturn in the local market, making it even more important for them to reach beyond the region for buyers," said Brian Podruzny, Ritchie Bros. Regional Manager. "A diverse range of quality equipment from reputable consignors and the knowledge that every item would be sold for fair market value on auction day attracted record numbers of bidders to our Grande Prairie auction. Buyers from outside Alberta purchased more than a third of the equipment. It's clear that more people are looking for used rather than new equipment at the moment – and they want to buy it in a fair, transparent environment."

Terry Coray of Crater Enterprises in Grande Cache, Alberta, was one of over 300 consignors in Grande Prairie. He sold millions of dollars of equipment at the unreserved auction as part of a major company realignment.

"We were working at a major mining operation and that work ended abruptly, leaving us with a large amount of surplus equipment to liquidate," said Mr. Coray. "We looked at our different options and realized we couldn't afford to hang on to the equipment and wait for it to sell piecemeal. We decided that selling by auction was our best option, and if you're going to sell by auction, there's only one company you can rely on: Ritchie Bros. They did a very professional job. We've been able to move on and invest in a concrete and gravel operation."

Ritchie Bros. is also pleased to announce that it recently contributed to the development of the new Montrose Cultural Centre in Grande Prairie, which will serve as the new home for the Grande Prairie Public Library and the expanded Prairie Art Gallery. The Company's donation will fund the Children's Internet Centre in the library.

"We believe in giving back where our customers and employees live, work and play," said Kevin Tink, Ritchie Bros. Senior Vice President. "We are a proud member of the Grande Prairie community and this project was an easy decision for us as this will not only service the Grande Prairie region but also will be a resource for all of the neighboring communities for years to come. We applaud the efforts of the volunteers and all the individuals that have worked so diligently to achieve this reality. This is a great opportunity for us to give back to the communities that have supported Ritchie Bros for many years and we thank you."

There are 109 unreserved Ritchie Bros. auctions on the auction calendar at www.rbauction.com, including a three-day unreserved public auction at the Company's Edmonton, Alberta auction site (April 28 – 30). The Edmonton auction features complete dispersals for Top Notch Construction and DBC Contracting – two well-known Alberta contractors and longtime Ritchie Bros. customers.

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.

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For more information contact:
Kim Schulz, Corporate Communications Manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
Mobile: +1.604.788.5379 or email: kschulz@rbauction.com
Or
Brian Podruzny, Regional Manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
Grande Prairie auction site tel: +1.780.538.1100

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