BCE Emergis Expands Health Insurance Operations to U.S.

BCE Emergis announced on February 6, 2000 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire US-based United Payors & United Providers, Inc. (United) by way of merger between a wholly-owned subsidiary and United. BCE Emergis plans to extend its e-commerce expertise to the United network, which provides claims processing between insurance companies and health care providers, designed to produce cost savings and offering more benefits for insurance companies while increasing liquidity and improving efficiency in claims submissions for providers. The move will give BCE Emergis a major foothold in the US market, adding to the strong presence that BCE Emergis has established in Canada, where it is a leading service-provider to the Health insurance sector.

The proposed transaction is for a price of US$27 per share, giving an aggregate total of approximately US$580 million to the acquisition. In order to facilitate the transaction, BCE Inc. has committed $800 million consisting of $650 million of BCE Emergis common equity, and of a stand-by credit facility of $150 million represented by convertible notes.

Canadian counsel to BCE Emergis on the deal was Stikeman Elliot with a team composed of Jean Marc Huot (corporate) and Marie-France Nantel (corporate) of the Montreal Office. US Counsel to BCE Emergis was Shearman & Sterling. US Counsel to United was Muldoon Murphy & Faucette of Washington, D.C.