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Internet Capital Group Takes Stake in eCatalogs

B2B e-commerce company Internet Capital Group acquired an unspecified stake in eCatalogs Inc., an e-commerce solution provider for the MRO marketplace, for approximately $14 million.

Industrial MRO comprises industrial products used in maintenance, repair and operations, as well as those same products used directly in OEM applications.

The product range includes electrical and electronic components; pipes, valves, and fittings; power transmission components; and metalworking tools and supplies. The market is estimated at more than $415 billion in the U.S. alone.

Internet Capital Group said that eCatalogs' electronic catalog of MRO products represents a critical component of ICG's overall strategy to transform this fragmented and inefficient industrial sector.

eCatalogs Inc. was formed in late 1999 to create a transaction-enabled, searchable electronic catalog of detailed information on industrial products.

The company is leveraging next-generation electronic catalog technology from A2i Inc. and jump-started its creation of a master catalog of 10 million industrial products when it purchased Howard W. Sams & Co. from Bell Atlantic early this year, acquiring not only its MRO product content, but also its paper publishing and content acquisition operations.

VerticalNet Inc., another ICG partner company, joins ICG in backing eCatalogs through both an unspecified equity investment and a license to utilize eCatalogs' content.

"We believe that eCatalogs is positioned to deliver rich, structured content as the cornerstone of electronic commerce in MRO," said Paul Calkin, senior director of E-Commerce Business Solutions at VerticalNet.



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