Business, Earthmoving News

Euro Auctions, Ritchie Bros merger off

Auction firms dedicate themselves to separate visions following decision

UK-based auction house Euro Auctions and Canadian company Ritchie Bros Auctioneers have called off their plans to merge, following concerns raised by the UK competition regulator.

The companies are the two biggest auction service providers for used heavy equipment in the United Kingdom, and both have a significant presence in the Australian market as well.

The decision came after the UK Competion and Markets Authority (CMA) rejected proposals from the two companies to address its concerns that a merger would reduce competition – leading to higher prices and lower quality service.

That investigation, which concluded in March, found that the companies had “a very high market share,” and “that auction buyers and sellers were unikely to switch to other sale methods”.

In a statement posted to the Toronto Stock Exchange, Ritchies Bros said it did not “believe thre is any realistic prospect for approval by the CMA… given the significant concerns raised by the CMA to date.”

Company chief executive Ann Fandozzi said in the statement that the company was disappointed by the CMA’s decision to review the matter and that Ritchie Bros “respectfully disagree[d] with thier views.”

“While we believe the proposed acquisition would have accelerated our strategy, we remain committed to forging ahead in our transformational journey to become the trusted global marketplace for insights, services and transaction solutions.”

Thanking its customers and suppliers, Euro Auctions said it would continue with its strategy of growing acorss its locations in the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, Germany, Spain, Australia, and the United States.

The proposed merger agreement will now automatically terminate on June 28 this year. 

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