February 26, 2001

 

Immediate Release

 

 

Convergence of Strengths in ehealthcareasia

 

ehealthcareasia, Quality HealthCare, iBusiness, i21, Excel and HIH Insurance

Join Hands in Developing the Region's Strongest eHealth Player

 

 
 

 

(February 26, 2001, Hong Kong) - ehealthcareasia Limited ('EHA'; HKSE: 835), Quality HealthCare Asia Limited (HKSE: 593), iBusiness Corporation Limited ('iBusiness'), i21 Limited ('i21'), Excel Technology International Holdings Limited ('Excel'; HKSE: 8048) and HIH Insurance (Asia) Limited ('HIH') have signed a memorandum of agreement ('MOA') to provide Internet-based application solutions for the healthcare profession and insurance industry in Asia.

 

Their subsequent agreement will consolidate the e-health industry, create a sizeable super-network and bring one step closer the linking together of participants across the healthcare and healthcare insurance industries, thereby improving efficiency while at the same time reducing administration costs. This objective aligns closely with that of the SAR's and other regional governments, who seek uniform communication in private healthcare, to ease linkages with publicly-funded care delivery.

 

According to the MOA, (i) EHA will acquire iClaims21 Limited, a company in which i21 owns a 70% interest and HIH 30%; (ii) iBusiness will introduce business partners and customers to EHA by leveraging the marketing channels and customer bases of the shareholders of iBusiness, namely Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Hutchison Whampoa Limited and Hang Seng Bank Limited; (iii) Excel will develop and provide EHA with the comprehensive iPolicy21 software solution - a fully integrated end-to-end application that covers the entire medical insurance processing cycle from quotation, policy administration, and policy renewal to claims submission and processing; Excel is a leading publicly listed business application solutions provider in the banking and finance sector in Hong Kong and is well-known for its software development capability.

 

EHA is Asia's only publicly listed group of e-health companies. It offers a comprehensive range of services to support healthcare professionals and industry practitioners in areas such as medical claims and administration. It presently provides transaction services to 670 Hong Kong doctors, with its rollout programme to cover a further 900 during 2001. Its services are supplied to over 5,000 Australian doctors and it also operates in Singapore and Taiwan. EHA provides connectivity and transaction services, business and health professional technology solutions. It is also engaged in specialist medical equipment distribution and the provision of marketing services for healthcare and insurance companies.

 

Commenting on the cooperation, Mr Brian O'Connor, Chairman of EHA and Quality HealthCare, said, "We are very excited about this convergence of strengths in EHA. We are confident that with the incorporation of iClaims21 into EHA's clearing system and products, the highly compatible platform of Excel's iPolicy21 software, plus the strong marketing channels and extensive customer network of iBusiness's shareholders, EHA will be the strongest, and most comprehensive and efficient healthcare management and insurance solutions provider in Asia."

 

Ms Peggy Chan, Chairman and CEO of Excel, said, "Excel is looking forward to providing professional software development skills and provisioning of the iPolicy21 software to EHA. This will enable EHA to become a super-provider of administration, insurance, marketing and other support services to medical professionals. Excel is honoured to be the development company for both iClaims21 and iPolicy21."

 

Mr Edmond Ip, CEO and Executive Director of iBusiness commented, "iBusiness epitomizes strong alliances. Excel is well known for its technical capability; and Quality HealthCare is the No.1 healthcare operator in Hong Kong. Together, we will make EHA the most dominant player in the region."

 

The total consideration involved in the MOA which includes service provision and acquisition amounts to HK$120 million. The consideration will be settled by the issuance of HK$80 million worth of new shares (valued at HK$0.25 each) and HK$40 million worth of convertible notes (with a conversion price of HK$0.40 per share) to iBusiness, Excel, i21 and HIH.

 

As a result of the new issue, QHA's shareholding in EHA will be 53.9%; iBusiness, Excel, i21 and HIH will in aggregate hold 10.9% of EHA immediately after the transaction. Upon full conversion of the convertible notes, QHA's interest will be reduced to 52.1%.



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