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March 25, 2003


Pacificats sold for $13 million
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers yesterday announced the results of the sale of the PacifiCat catamaran fast ferries. The three vessels sold for US$13 million (in the span of 10 minutes) and the ancillary equipment sold for US$650,600, for total auction proceeds of US$13.65 million (approximately CAD 20 million). The three ferries were purchased by one buyer. At this time, the buyer has declined to be identified. The ancillary equipment was purchased by nine different buyers.

The Pacificat ferry debacle cost British Columbia taxpayers a total of C$454 million (US$306 million at current exchange rates)

David Ritchie, Chairman and CEO of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers commented, "Without exception, the potential bidders who inspected the vessels were impressed with the excellent state in which the vessels had been maintained. Ritchie Bros. wants to thank the employees of BC Ferries, who played a key role in our effort to achieve a successful sale. We are very pleased to have been able to help BC Ferries achieve their objective of finding new owners for these vessels."

According to Randy Wall, President and COO of Ritchie Bros., "Our marketing efforts reached tens of thousands of potential buyers around the world. Several hundred of these were engaged in detailed discussions and many came to Vancouver to inspect the vessels. Today, there were seven groups from North America, Asia and the Middle East who cleared our financial screening process, made the mandatory US$2 million deposit and registered to bid at the auction. We have just witnessed the world market in action and the value of these vessels has been determined. Our unreserved auction process works: the vessels now have new owners."


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