By Bryan Scribner
New owner of Kruse International
Dean Kruse of Kruse International, Auburn, Ind., has sold The Kruse International Auction Park to a Canadian auction company.
Chatham, Ontario-based RM Auctions will take over the Auburn-based facility and plans to play host to its first auction of more than 1,000 vehicles Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-6, says RM owner Rob Myers. Financial details of the sale were not released.
The companies made the announcement at an early July news conference in Auburn.
“This will be the end of an era, but it’s the beginning, I think, of a new era and a great launch for one of the greatest auction companies not only in America but the entire world,” Kruse says.
In late May, Indiana canceled Kruse’s auction and business licenses because of unpaid debts. AutoWeek reports speculation of a possible sale had circulated since then.
Kruse and Myers, former competitors, have known one another for 30 years. Kruse says he will now focus on assisting the new company, Auctions America by RM, in a consulting role.
“I intend to earn as much money as I can,” Kruse says. “The state of Indiana gave me three years to pay the consignors — I want to do that faster if I can.”
Kruse says he carries a list with him of unpaid consignors, and he crosses names off the list as individuals are paid. At the time of the news conference, there were 62 consignors on the list.
“My bills are mine,” he says. “I could have gone bankrupt. I’ve had five or six lawyers call me on the phone — ‘Can I please handle your bankruptcy’ — I said ‘no, I want to pay these people.”