August 30 - Ritchie Bros has entered into a strategic alliance agreement with equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, and reached an agreement to acquire online marketplace IronPlanet.

The alliance agreement will see Ritchie Bros become Caterpillar's preferred global partner for live onsite and online auctions of used equipment.

Ritchie Bros says it will provide Caterpillar and its dealers with access to proprietary auction platforms, software and other value-added services.

The 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, said the auctioneer.

In addition, Ritchie Bros has reached an agreement to acquire online marketplace for used heavy equipment and other durable asset sales, IronPlanet, for approximately USD758.5 million.

Ritchie Bros says that IronPlanet, which was founded in 1999, complements its own primarily end-user customer base, as it focuses largely on the needs of corporate accounts, equipment manufacturers, dealers and government entities in equipment disposition solutions.

IronPlanet conducts its sales primarily through online-only platforms, with weekly online auctions, and in other equipment marketplaces.