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IronPlanet, Cat Auction to Merge

IronPlanet, a leading online marketplace for buying and selling used heavy equipment and trucks, and Associated Auction Services LLC, an alliance of Caterpillar and several of its independent Cat dealers that operates under the name of Cat Auction Services, have signed an agreement to merge the two companies.

Once combined, IronPlanet and Cat Auction Services will provide buyers and sellers of used heavy construction equipment a unique auction experience, backed by technology, services and equipment expertise unmatched in the industry, according to the company.

“I am very excited about the combination of IronPlanet and Cat Auction Services, two trusted partners in helping buyers and sellers with their used heavy equipment acquisition and disposition needs,” said Gregory J. Owens, IronPlanet chairman and CEO. “The power of IronPlanet’s technology, multiple marketplace formats and global buyer base coupled with Cat Auction Services’ live, onsite auction format and deep equipment expertise will provide the most powerful and complete suite of auction remarketing tools in the industry.”

“Cat Auction Services was started in 2008 to give Cat dealers another distribution channel for used equipment sales, as well as to keep our customers connected with the Caterpillar family of products and dealerships,” said William L. Hoeft, chairman of Cat Auction Services. “We are pleased to have reached this agreement as the merger will capitalize on both companies’ strengths.”

IronPlanet and Cat Auction Services together will provide an integrated platform that includes:

  • Innovative Auction and Remarketing Solutions – Customers will have access to the what the company is calling broadest range of marketplaces for asset disposal and acquisition that include both online and onsite auction formats, as well as multiple timing and pricing options.
  • A Global, Integrated Market – Cat Auction Services’ strong customer relationships coupled with IronPlanet’s global customer base, including IronPlanet’s more than one million registered users, will provide unique buying and selling advantages for customers anywhere in the world.
  • Value and Convenience for Customers – IronPlanet’s and Cat Auction Services’ live and online auctions will be backed by a full range of support services to provide a better, more flexible customer experience. Buyers will benefit from equipment protection plans and equipment financing, as well as IronPlanet’s exclusive IronClad Assurance buyer protection program, which assures them that they have an accurate representation of equipment condition. For sellers, the combined company will provide ease, reliability and security, handling transactions from qualifying buyers to coordinating equipment removal.

“The live auction format from Cat Auction Services, along with IronPlanet’s online marketplaces, will give our customers the innovative solutions they are looking for to meet their inventory management requirements,” said Gary Trettel, Cat Auction Services, president and CEO. “This is a very significant merger as both companies are industry leading and clearly complement each other. We have a unique opportunity to transform our business and position ourselves to meet the growing demand of our customers for better technology, tools, and services when buying and selling heavy equipment.”

Owens will be chairman and CEO of the combined entity and the company will continue to be headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif. Trettel will continue to oversee Cat Auction Services live auction format as well as serve on the Executive Committee of IronPlanet. Cat Auction Services’ office in Eagan, Minn., will remain open as the Midwest office for IronPlanet.The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other standard closing conditions, and is anticipated to be completed during the first quarter of 2015.