Goodbye RBC, hello U.S.?

Canadian e-business giant Mediagrif Interactive Technologies Inc. is a step closer to expanding into the American B2B automotive space after buying RBC Financial Group’s 50-per-cent share in B2B Vertical Markets.

The deal makes Mediagrif the sole share-holder of B2B Vertical Markets (B2BVM),

a holding company that owns Carrus Technologies Inc.

Based in Longueuil, Quebec, Carrus is a provider of business management software and online parts-ordering solutions for the automotive aftermarket supply chain.

Denis Gadbois, chief executive of Mediagrif, says now that the company can make decisions without consulting RBC, expansion into the U.S. is more possible.

He says Medigrif has the resources to re-invest in Carrus if needed. “”If we want to expand the business model or re-invest in specific activities, we’ll do that.””

A Canadian company operating a North American marketplace for automotive parts would be an accomplishment, says Charles Davis, an e-business professor at the University of New Brunswick. That Mediagrif made the initial investment in Carrus is significant in and of itself since the Montreal firm was focused on “”tight niches”” only a few years ago, says Davis.

“”It looks as though they’ve decided it’s a good time to invest in larger, broader verticals,”” he says, adding this may prove that customers are willing to spend more on this technology, and that an IT resurgence may be in the works.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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