Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (RBA), Caterpillar (CAT) Enter Strategic Alliance Agreement

August 30, 2016 6:21 AM EDT

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Ritchie Bros. (NYSE: RBA), and Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) announced that they have entered into a strategic alliance agreement. The strategic alliance is expected to deliver significant benefits to both companies, Caterpillar's independent dealers and their respective customers, continuing an accelerated delivery of Caterpillar's Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity offerings to improve customer fleet utilization.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ritchie Bros. will become Caterpillar's preferred global partner for live onsite and online auctions with respect to used Caterpillar equipment, and will complement Caterpillar's existing dealer channels. Ritchie Bros. will provide Caterpillar and its dealers with access to proprietary auction platforms, software and other value-added services, thereby enhancing the exchange of information and services between customers, dealers and suppliers. The strategic alliance is also expected to strengthen Ritchie Bros.' relationship with Caterpillar's independent dealers around the world by providing them enhanced and continued access to a global auction marketplace to sell their used equipment.

Ritchie Bros. also announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire IronPlanet®, a leading online marketplace for used heavy equipment and other durable asset sales, of which Caterpillar and its dealers own a minority position. The combined company, with its trusted brands, will deliver a multi-channel marketplace that will provide a full range of equipment asset management and disposition solutions. The new strategic alliance between Ritchie Bros. and Caterpillar replaces and expands on existing agreements in place between Caterpillar, its dealers and IronPlanet. The new strategic alliance will become effective when Ritchie Bros. completes its acquisition of IronPlanet, which is subject to regulatory clearances and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

"Ritchie Bros. is proud to enter into this historic alliance, which will strengthen our relationship with Caterpillar, its dealers and end users, as well as help expand our global reach and footprint," said Ravi Saligram, Chief Executive Officer of Ritchie Bros. "Our marketing capabilities, unrivaled suite of technology and powerful multi-channel transactional platforms will add tremendous value and make us a trusted strategic partner to the Caterpillar family."

"A key element of our digital strategy is connecting more products in our customers' fleets, allowing us to help improve their productivity, increase safety and drive sustainability. This alliance will ensure that more used equipment buyers have access to our best-in-class products, digital offerings and world class customer support through the Cat dealer network," said Rob Charter, group president with responsibility for Caterpillar's Customer and Dealer Support. "Ritchie Bros. and Caterpillar are beginning an exciting new chapter in our relationship to better serve our global customers."

The strategic alliance between Ritchie Bros. and Caterpillar will have an initial five-year term. After completing the acquisition of IronPlanet, Ritchie Bros. will operate live onsite auctions at participating Caterpillar dealers' locations under the Cat Auction Services brand and also encompass Ritchie Bros.' other onsite and online brands.

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