RealTime IT News

Mediagrif, Royal Bank In E-Commerce Strategic Alliance

[Montreal, CANADA]- Mediagrif Interactive Technologies Inc., a business-to- business e-commerce company, and Royal Bank, a major Canadian financial services institution, have finalized a strategic alliance by which Royal Bank will become a shareholder in Mediagrif, while the two companies launch a joint venture.

Through this venture, Royal Bank and Mediagrif will develop business-to-business e- commerce vertical marketplaces, using Mediagrif's technological and operational abilities in vertical marketplaces, and Royal Bank's network of Canadian business customers and its capabilities with electronic banking services. The new venture, jointly-owned by Royal Bank and Mediagrif, plans to launch later this year.

As part of the alliance, Royal Bank has also agreed to invest through a private placement and has committed to subscribe to additional shares in the initial public offering of Mediagrif scheduled to close later this year. Following these investments, Royal Bank will own an estimated 4.9% of Mediagrif's outstanding common shares.

"Vertical business-to-business marketplaces allow our customers to extend their reach globally, realize cost efficiencies through electronic procurement and benefit from our expanding line of secure Web-based cash management and payments services," explained Tom Wolf, senior vice president, eBusiness at Royal Bank. These investments from Royal Bank are conditional to prior approval by the applicable regulatory authorities.

Mediagrif Interactive Technologies Inc. currently operates four marketplaces: The Broker Forum, GMN Memory Network, Power Source On-Line and, together with strategic partners in Germany and United States, VCE Virtual Chip Exchange.

Royal Bank's business units include Royal Bank, RBC Dominion Securities, Royal Investment Services, RBC Insurance and Global Integrated Solutions.