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Big Players Create Big Canadian B2B E-Market

[Toronto, CANADA] Bell Canada, CIBC, Scotiabank, Mouvement des caisses Desjardins, and BCE Emergis today announced they are joining forces to create one of Canada's largest business-to-business electronic marketplaces.

The companies plan to launch a unique new e-procurement company, Procuron Inc., which will use combined purchasing volumes, along with its world-class strategic sourcing and e-commerce expertise, to benefit the Canadian business community.

Procuron will also provide e-procurement services directly to other large Canadian companies and to emerging vertical exchanges.

Procuron marks a new era in e-procurement, providing Canadian businesses with a national B2B exchange to buy business products and services including office equipment and supplies, furniture, computer hardware and accessories, travel, and courier services.

In the first year, the partners anticipate a total combined spending of approximately $1 billion through Procuron, which will have its own sales force.

Together, they will serve more than half of Canadian businesses, and believe this new procurement alternative will provide an important value-added service to their customers and other Canadian companies.

"Procuron will revolutionize Canada's e-commerce landscape," said Steve McKeown, president and chief executive officer of Procuron.

"By combining the spending of the partners and making the best use of their existing channels, we can offer savings and comprehensive e-procurement and e-commerce services for business customers."

"Our critical mass and experience will enable us to provide businesses with the kind of procurement efficiency that has not been possible until now."

In the near future, Procuron will be seeking alliances with vertical exchanges.

The value of North American business-to-business online transactions is expected to grow from its current level of US $422 billion to US $2.9 trillion by 2004, comprising an estimated 17 percent of all business trade, according to Forrester Research.

By that year, it is estimated that more than half of all electronic business-to-business trade will be conducted through online marketplaces.

In Canada, the electronic B2B market will generate an estimated $218 billion in transactions.



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