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Caterpillar said it plans to pursue strategic alternatives, including a possible divestiture for its room and pillar products, which serve a segment of underground soft rock mining customers, as part of a larger restructuring and cost reduction plan. “IronPlanet joining forces with Ritchie Bros. will allow the combined company to deliver a multi-channel marketplace that will provide a full range of equipment asset management and disposition solutions,” said Gregory J. Owens, chairman and chief executive of IronPlanet, who agreed to join the combined company’s executive committee upon closing. Ritchie Bros. said it has secured employment agreements with IronPlanet key executives. Collectively, Ritchie Bros. and IronPlanet (on a pro forma basis) sold more than $3 billion of assets through online transactions during the 12 months trailing June 30, 2016 – ranking the combined business among the world’s top 50 B2B e-commerce companies, based on value sold, according to Ritchie Bros. Ritchie Bros. intends to finance the transaction through a combination of cash on hand and new debt, and has bridge financing commitments from Goldman Sachs Bank USA subject to customary terms and conditions to facilitate the transaction close. Following the deal closing and the required financing, Ritchie Bros. is expected to have a net debt to EBITDA ratio of no more than 3.0x, it says. The deal was approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close by the first half of 2017, subject to regulatory clearances and other customary closing conditions. Goldman, Sachs & Co. is serving as financial advisor to Ritchie Bros. and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Dechert LLP are serving as legal advisors. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is serving as financial advisor to IronPlanet and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is serving as legal advisor. The Ritchie Brothers – How They Started And Prospered Over Six Decades Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers was established in Kelowna, B.C., Canada. The three Ritchie brothers – Ken, John and Dave Ritchie – took over the OK Used Furniture Store from their father in 1955. They entered the auction business in 1958 when they needed CA$2,000 to pay a bank debt on short notice. A friend suggested they conduct an auction to get rid of some surplus inventory from the furniture store. They conducted their first auction at the Scout Hall in Kelowna in 1958 and discovered a new way of doing business. Starting with that first auction at the Scout Hall, Ritchie Bros. maintained a strict policy of conducting unreserved auctions – meaning there were no minimum bids and no reserve prices. The brothers also established a policy of not allowing bid-ins or buybacks by the sellers. The brothers began conducting auctions more regularly and in 1958 incorporated Ritchie Bros. Auction Galleries Ltd. to formalize their new business. Ritchie Bros. began selling used equipment in the 1960s. In 1963 Dave Ritchie moved to Vancouver, B.C. and rented an auction site on S.E. Marine Drive. He set up the company’s first equipment auction in Vancouver shortly after. The Ritchie brothers conducted their first major unreserved industrial auction in Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia on June 7, 1963. They sold CA$663,000 of equipment in one day – by far the largest auction in the company’s history. The success of the Radium Hot Springs auction convinced the brothers that they could make more money auctioning used equipment than selling furniture, so they sold their furniture store in Kelowna and went into the auction business full-time. Photo: Ritchie Bros. Auction Site. Average auction sites are 60 acres in size and feature offices, an auction theatre and equipment refurbishing facilities, with over a dozen full-time employees and dozens more part-time staff during auction weeks.]]>