Big Australian Heads Uptown With Metiom

[Melbourne, AUSTRALIA] The Broken Hill Proprietary Company (BHP) announced an alliance with U.S. B2B player Metiom. BHP will trade its L-Trans supply logistics management system for equity and options in Metiom.

BHP will use Metiom’s ConnectTrade system to drive e-procurement strategy with small and medium enterprises.

BHP officials would not divulge the size of their equity stake in Metiom but said they expect significant upside from their investment in addition to the Aus $5-6 million L-Trans development costs.

Metiom, formerly known as Intelisys Electronic Commerce, is a privately held company.
In October 1999, investment firm Forstmann Little & Co. bought a 33 percent stake in Metiom for $65 million. The other main investors are Chase Manhattan Bank and venture firm Boyd Victor Roger.

For SMEs involved with BHP the Metiom alliance, it means that they will gain access to the big procurement hubs BHP has committed to: corProcure and the Mining and Metals Marketplace.

Brad Mills, BHP chief strategic officer, said that he hoped all of the company’s suppliers would hook up to the ConnectTrade powered system and admitted it would be harder for SMEs to do business with BHP if they were not on the system.

While the Metiom alliance will have little immediate impact on BHP’s stock price, the move illustrates a commitment to exploring new revenue streams. Metiom plans a Nasdaq listing within 12 months.

BHP stock closed Friday at $20.41.

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