One of the Prairies’ major farm auction houses has become part of the world’s biggest industrial auction firm.
Vancouver-based Ritchie Bros. announced Tuesday it has bought Kramer Auctions of North Battleford, Sask. for an undisclosed sum.
The company, set up in 1949 by the late Eiling Kramer, today runs about 75 on-farm dispersal auctions, four on-site consignment equipment auctions and eight bison auctions per year across the three Prairie provinces.
Kramer moved over $60 million of agricultural equipment, real estate and other assets in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, Ritchie Bros. said.
Kramer also operates as a licensed real estate brokerage and conducts auctions for farmland as well as residential, commercial, recreational and lake properties.
Company president/general manager Neil Kramer and auctioneers/sales representatives Kim Kramer and Brendan Kramer have all joined Ritchie Bros. and will continue overseeing auctions on the Prairies under the Kramer Auctions brand, Ritchie Bros. said.
Ritchie said it plans to keep the Kramer brand “for the immediate future,” given the “deep customer relationships and significant brand equity associated with the Kramer Auctions name.”
Kramer Auctions’ lone permanent auction site at North Battleford will continue to be owned by the Kramer family and leased to Ritchie Bros. “for the foreseeable future.”
Kramer’s full-time employees have also been offered continued employment with Kramer Auctions through Ritchie Bros., the company added.
The deal includes Kramer’s agricultural and real estate auction services, but won’t include Kramer Trailer Sales, which remains with the Kramer family. The trailer dealership sells Southland, Royal, Norbert’s, Duralite, Snopro, Cargopro and Sure-Trac trailers at its lot east of North Battleford.
Kramer’s auction setup co-ordinator Michael Higgs, who along with Brendan Kramer operated the Kramer Trailer Sales business, will also join Ritchie Bros.
“We’ve respected the growth and interest Ritchie Bros. has developed in the agricultural space over the last 15 years,” Neil Kramer said in Tuesday’s release.
Kramer’s principals, he said, “believe we can offer our customers even greater value by blending our expertise of seamless farm auctions with Ritchie Bros.’ leading technology and reach of international bidders.”
Ritchie Bros. started at Kelowna, B.C. in 1958 and now bills itself as the world’s largest industrial auctioneer and one of the world’s biggest sellers of used equipment for the farm, construction, transportation and resource sectors, among others.
The company expanded its reach into the U.S. in 1970 and set up its first permanent auction site at Edmonton in 1976. It became an NYSE-traded company in 1998 and listed on the TSX in 2004.
Its expansions by acquisition so far this year have included online equipment marketplaces Mascus and IronPlanet, U.S. auction firm Petrowsky Auctioneers and a minority stake in equipment search engine Machinio.
Ritchie Bros. today has operations in 19 countries, including 44 auction sites, and moved about US$4.25 billion in assets, including about US$1.9 billion in online sales, in 2015.
Of the Kramer deal, Ritchie Bros. CEO Ravi Saligram said the company is “truly excited about the value we can create by combining our expertise and global reach for customers in farming communities across Canada.” — AGCanada.com NetworkTagged farm equipment, Kramer Auctions, Kramer Trailer Sales, Neil Kramer, North Battleford, Ritchie Bros.