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BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Société Générale and Cap Gemini, in partnership with Commerce One, create an Electronic Marketplace for Business-to-Business Purchasing

BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Société Générale and Cap Gemini, with the support of Commerce One, are launching a marketplace devoted to business-to-business trading.

This web site, a "horizontal" marketplace, is expected to enable businesses in all industry sectors to conduct their transactions via the Internet. It covers all stages of a business transaction between purchasers and suppliers, from order to payment, including catalogue management and consultation, order approval processing, delivery, invoicing, etc. Other means of e-commerce, such as auctions, commerce portals, and tender offers are expected to be made available soon.

The proposed service currently encompasses the purchase of indirect goods and services (office supplies, IT, travel, consumables, etc.), that are not related to the production cycle: On the buying side, companies will be able to optimize their purchasing function by automating their purchasing processes, in a secure manner.

On the supply side, suppliers will have access to a new distribution channel.

The marketplace will rapidly expand to cover direct materials procurement with the addition of vertical industry marketplaces, collectively with partnerships with organizations in various sectors.

The strength of the project revolves around the know-how and competencies of the four partners and the software developer, Commerce One:

BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole and Société Générale are allied with the largest French companies and possess broad expertise in electronic communications, cash flow management, financing and secure payment methods.

Cap Gemini, one of the world leaders in management consulting and IT services, with a strong position in e-business and e-procurement, both for consulting and systems integration, is positioned as a solid gateway to participation in the network economy.

Commerce One, with its strong e-business strategy, worldwide experience and undisputed expertise in this market, will reinforce the arrangement even further.

The participation of these key players will immediately ensure a critical mass in the marketplace, with each partner committed to putting its purchases on-line.

The goal of this alliance is to quickly become the French market leader as well as a leading international player. In France, business-to-business Internet exchanges targeting indirect goods and services are currently estimated at 60 billion euros for 2003.

A new organization will be created (during May 2000) to promote this initiative, with each of the four founding partners (BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Société Générale and Cap Gemini) holding an equal stake. It will also be open to European and industrial partners, some of which are already under consideration.