MediaGrif Buys PolyGroup for $8.4 million


September 3, 2004

MediaGrif Buys PolyGroup for $8.4 million

Montreal-based Internet commerce firm Mediagrif Interactive Technologies yesterday acquired PolyGroup, Ltd., the jewelry industry's leading Internet business network. Polygroup is the parent firm of the Polygon interactive jewelry talk, sales and information site based in Golden CO. The total acquisition price will be approximately $8.4 million in cash. This year, PolyGroup earned approximately $3.5 million in revenues and is profitable.

"We are excited that PolyGroup has become part of the Mediagrif team," says PolyGroup CEO and Founder Jacques Voorhees. He and his staff are well known figures in the jewelry industry, often appearing at trade shows and as sources for jewelers working with e-commerce issues. Many consider Voorhees the pioneer Internet "guru" for the jewelry industry.

Voorhees told Professional Jeweler that the purchase will allow Polygon to deliver enhancements much more quickly.

"Polygon had four Java developers. Mediagrif has 65. Twenty of those are presently at work rewriting the Polygon software so that it operates on their platforms. The 'New Polygon' will be released in late January 2005. And once it's part of the Mediagrif platform, it will be vastly more content-rich, stable and easy to use."

Voorhees and Polygon Marketing Director Krista Olsen will retain their positions in the firm, which will move its headquarters to Montreal during a four-month transition period. The largely outsourced technical team and its accounting division in Colorado will be laid off.

"Think of it as a car manufacturer who was building cars out of his garage suddenly being acquired by General Motors. That's what has just happened to us," says Voorhees. He adds that his customers will benefit from the sale both by the enhanced site and by 24-hour customer service.

Approximately 3,000 subscribers use Polygon to buy and sell diamonds, watches, colored stones and finished jewelry. Polygon also offers over $1.6 billion of diamond inventory from approximately 500 leading diamond wholesalers.

Mediagrif operates ten networks, including The Broker Forum (www.brokerforum.com), Power Source On-Line (www.powersourceonline.com), Telecom Finders (www.telecomfinders.com) and Global Wine & Spirits www.globalwinespirits.com). The company also owns MERX (www.merx.com), the exclusive provider of e-tendering services to the federal government of Canada.

- by Michael Thompson

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