IronPlanet buyers now have access to Ritchie Bros. financing

A wheel loader is driven away from the auction ramp during the 2014 Ritchie Bros. Orlando auction.A wheel loader is driven away from the auction ramp during the 2014 Ritchie Bros. Orlando auction.

Auction giant Ritchie Bros. says its financial services are now available to customers of IronPlanet, which Ritchie bought this year.

IronPlanet’s customer base can now access LeaseFlex and PurchaseFlex financing, which Ritchie Bros. Financial Services (RBFS) says offer more flexibility and convenience compared to traditional bank financing.

The easier process can help buyers get quicker access to cash so they can more confidently bid and buy equipment, according to Sharon Driscoll, CFO of Ritchie Bros. and board chair at RBFS.

“When RBFS was introduced six years ago, the company focused solely on providing financing solutions for customers of our live auctions,” she says. “As the focus on the overall customer experience has evolved, RBFS has diversified, providing financing to customers buying equipment from other sources, including dealerships,” Driscoll says, stating that becoming the preferred IronPlanet provider is the “next logical step.”

The company says the announcement represents a major step in Ritchie Bros.’ journey from a brick-and-mortar live auctions company to “a multi-channel technology leader.” The firm established RBFS in 2011 to help connect equipment buyers with financing.

As of 2017, RBFS has funded more than $1 billion in equipment and truck purchases with its PurchaseFlex financing solutions, the company says. LeaseFlex was launched earlier this year.

Pre-approved customers can shop for almost anything, says Jim Case, CEO of RBFS.  “We finance all brands. Our pre-approvals last 90 days and are quick and easy to renew.”

The $758.5 million acquisition of IronPlanet earlier this year expands the reach of Ritchie Bros. and sets the stage for potential combined online annual sales of about $3 billion.

While the move was clearly an acquisition of Ritchie Bros.’ chief online competitor, it’s being treated as a merger, according to Ritchie Bros. CEO Ravi Saligram. The fusion has led to Ritchie Bros. becoming Caterpillar’s preferred global partner for live onsite and online auctions of used equipment, thanks to a long-term strategic alliance with the manufacturer.

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In 2015, online auctioneer IronPlanet had completed a merger with Cat Auction Services, which added onsite auctions to IronPlanet’s former online-only format.