Polygon acquired by Mediagrif for $8.4 million

PolyGroup, Ltd., owner of the Polygon Network, has been acquired by Mediagrif Interactive Technologies, Inc. of Montreal, Canada, the two companies said in separate statements. The total acquisition price will be approximately $8.4 million, payable in cash. In the current year, PolyGroup achieved approximately $3.5 million in revenues and is profitable.

Polygon, which launched in 1984, is the oldest and most active business-to-business marketplace in the diamond and jewelry industry. Its centerpiece, CertNet, is the largest collection of polished diamonds in the world, totaling over $1.6 billion at wholesale value, and provided by more than 500 individual diamond dealers, including many DTC Sightholders. Mediagrif, a public company, operates more than a dozen e-business networks, including industry leaders: 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).

“All of us at Polygon are excited about this development,” said Jacques Voorhees, who founded Polygon and will continue as president/CEO. “As a part of the Mediagrif team, Polygon will now be able to provide our members with some of the most sophisticated technology and services available in the world of e-commerce. Mediagrif operates internationally, and services its customers on a 24/7 basis, in multiple languages. For example, their cutting-edge financial clearing services for transactions between customers will be able to facilitate the increasingly international scope of Polygon trading.”

“We expect Polygon will become one of our ‘crown jewels’ if you will,” said Denis Gadbois, chairman of the board and CEO of Mediagrif. “Its market position, combined with the growth opportunities that we can help them achieve suggests a very prosperous future for Polygon.”

PolyGroup also includes Brandmatrix, which provides online co-op marketing technologies for jewelry industry brands; TradeLock, a password-protection system for jewelry industry Web sites, and WebActive, a full-service Web site design business. Under the Mediagrif ownership, PolyGroup’s technology platform and accounting functions will be moved to Montreal and combined with Mediagrif’s extensive data center. Its sales, marketing, and customer support divisions will remain headquartered in Golden, Colo.

“We’ve known for years that one day this was likely to happen. As a small, independent company, Polygon has faced numerous competitive, technological, and customer service challenges,” Voorhees said in a note on the Polygon Web site. “Yet we’ve persevered, largely fought off the competitors, and-in recent years-grown steadily in membership and profitability.”

Some Polygon members voiced their approval. “We were proud to be one of the first Polygon customers,” Charter Member Paul Reiser, of Paul Reiser & Associates, Green Bay, Wis., said in the PolyGroup statement. “It’s nice to see Polygon mature into being a division of a large company, yet with the existing team kept in place. I would guess we’ll get the personal attention Polygon’s been known for, combined with resources to deliver more services.”

“Polygon is already a dominant force in the U.S. market,” said Moshe Klein, director of sales, Julius Klein Group, a DTC Sightholder. “As a division of a world-wide technology business, they’ll be positioned to expand internationally at an even faster rate. More importantly to us, Polygon has always been known as an independent service-provider to the trade, with no conflicts of interest. I’m pleased that this tradition will continue, under the ownership of a company like Mediagrif.”

PolyGroup’s Marketing Director Krista Olson agreed. “With Mediagrif’s strong international presence and multi-lingual support staff, we’ll be turning increasing attention to marketing Polygon world-wide – which is our obvious next evolution.”

“This year marks Polygon’s twentieth anniversary,” noted long-time Polygon staffer Teri Welsch. “It’s almost like our baby has grown up and is going away to college. Yet down deep it will always be the same Polygon.”