IronPlanet, Cat auction pinpoint synergies in pending merger

IronPlanet, a leading online marketplace for buying and selling used heavy equipment and trucks, and Associated Auction Services LLC, an alliance of Caterpillar Inc. and a group of its dealers operating as Cat Auction Services, anticipate finalizing a merger agreement—announced late last year—during the first quarter. The combined business will afford used heavy construction equipment buyers and sellers a unique auction experience, officials note, backed by unmatched technology and services.

“The power of [our] 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,” affirms IronPlanet Chairman Gregory Owens.

“Cat Auction Services was started in 2008 to give dealers another distribution channel for used equipment sales, as well as to keep our customers connected with the Caterpillar family of products and dealerships. The merger will capitalize on both companies’ strengths,” adds Cat Auction Chairman William Hoeft.

The companies cite these aspects of their integrated platform:

  • Innovative Auction and Remarketing Solutions. Customers will have access to a broad range of marketplaces for asset disposal and acquisition that include both online and onsite auction formats, as well as multiple timing and pricing options.
  • Global, Integrated Market. Cat Auction Services’ strong customer relationships coupled with IronPlanet’s global customer base of 1 million-plus registered users, will provide unique buying and selling advantages 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, promoting 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,” says Cat Auction CEO Gary Trettel. “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, to be based in Pleasanton, Calif. Trettel will continue to oversee Cat Auction Services’ live auction format and serve on the IronPlanet executive committee. Cat Auction Services’ Eagan, Minn., office will become the IronPlant Midwest base.