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People inspect heavy equipment at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, in Bolton, Ont., on Feb. 26.Carlos Osorio/The Globe and Mail

Canada’s Ritchie Bros Auctioneers RBA-T said on Tuesday it would pay a special dividend of $1.08 per share to its investors if they back its $7-billion deal for U.S. auto retailer IAA Inc IAA-N.

Shareholders of both the companies are set to vote on March 14 on the deal that will allow Ritchie to tap into a growing market for heavy machinery and equipment, salvaged cars, trucks and motorcycles.

However, Ritchie’s shareholders including Luxor Capital Group, Eminence Capital, Deep Field Asset Management and Janus Henderson Investors have opposed the deal.

The latest move by Ritchie comes after proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis recommended that shareholders reject the deal, citing potential risks.

Meanwhile, proxy advisory firm Egan-Jones on Tuesday recommended shareholders support the deal.

In its assessment, the firm says the advantages of the deal outweigh the benefits of remaining as a stand-alone company and that the merger sets a realistic approach to shareholder value creation and maximization in the long-run.

The dividend will be paid subject to receipt of required shareholder approvals of the merger, Ritchie said adding that IAA shareholders will not be entitled to receive it.

The deal is expected to close on March 20.

With files from The Canadian Press.