Ritchie targets non-auction equipment sales with buy

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Ritchie Bros Auctioneers has bought AssetNation, a move it says gives them a technology platform with the ability to tap used equipment segments beyond the company’s unreserved auction market. The buy will result in several as-yet-unannounced initiatives “unique to the used equipment industry,” the first of which may be announced in July.

Ritchie executives indicated in a conference call today it estimates 50 percent of the total global used equipment market in all industries is conducted directly between the seller and buyer.  The AssetNation buy gives the company a way to make these direct buys “more easy and satisfying,” Ritchie says. And while buyers may see backhoes on the AssetNation website, they are sold much differently than they would be at a Ritchie auction. “Not all needs of a seller are met by an unreserved auction,” said Ritchie’s Bob Armstrong, chief strategic development officer. In this model, “the seller has control over the price.”

Ritchie says AssetNation uses its technology platform, deep e-commerce expertise and global online marketplaces to support buyers and sellers of surplus and salvage assets. AssetNation is active in a number of industry verticals including energy, fleet and distribution, insurance and government. AssetNation is a privately-held company headquartered in Houston, TX with offices in Pittsburgh, PA, Mexico City, MX, and London, UK.

AssetNation’s technology platform gives Ritchie a springboard to develop capabilities its says will be unique in the equipment industry, providing a “transparent and efficient way for the non-auction segment of the market to buy and sell equipment.” The company stresses it will not abandon its “religious principle” of unreserved auctions.