Ritchie Bros., the world's largest heavy equipment auctioneer and provider of end-to-end services, announced this week the receipt of unconditional antitrust clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice for its proposed acquisition of IronPlanet, a leading online marketplace for heavy equipment and other durable assets.

"Over the last three years, we've been successfully executing on a multi-channel diversification strategy to ensure that the company stays relevant and strong in a changing environment,” said Ravi Saligram, Ritchie Bros. CEO. “In IronPlanet, we found a company that allows us to continue our rich history of innovation and gives us the tools and talent to transform into a digital information and insights powerhouse. The missions of our companies are aligned: deliver maximum choice and value to our customers. We look forward to bringing our combined pride and passion together under one umbrella to accelerate our growth initiatives and add shareholder value."

Greg Owens, IronPlanet chairman and CEO added, "The management team and employees of IronPlanet are enthusiastic about joining forces with Ritchie Bros. – the possibilities are endless when you merge brand strength with technology. We are inspired by the vision of leading a digital transformation in the industry."

The acquisition is the next step in Ritchie Bros.' diversification and multichannel strategy.

Ritchie Bros. also enters into a historic, long-term strategic alliance with Caterpillar, which will significantly strengthen its relationship with Caterpillar's independent dealers around the world by providing enhanced and continued access to a global auction marketplace to sell its used equipment.

The transaction is expected to close in the next few weeks. A new organizational structure will be announced after closing. Ritchie Bros. and IronPlanet first announced the acquisition in August 2016.