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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