L&H turns Health Care Solutions business group into separate legal entity status

Ieper 29 December 1999Lernout & Hauspie, the worldwide market leader in speech and translation technologies, products and services, has announced to prepare several of its business groups for separate legal entity status to better serve the fast growing global market in speech and linguistic technology. Two key divisions thus will gain total independence: Health Care Solutions as well as Globalisation & Internet Translations. The company also plans to consolidate both the Corporate and Telephony Solutions Group Divisions within a proper legal position. These new enterprises will strongly contribute to L&H's status as a global market leader in the area of speech and linguistic technologies for various markets and industrial branches.

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The splitting up into separate entities will be realised in the first quarter of 2000. In order to prepare the involved key divisions for their new status, L&H has introduced a variety of innovative technologies, established new contracts and acquired fresh financial means. The company describes the initial position for the new entities Globalisation & Internet Translation and Health Care Solutions as "excellent". "We stick to the long-term-strategy, on which our entire vision is based. L&H anticipates that speech will play an integral role in the areas of health care, Internet, multi-media, telecommunications, and computers", stated Gaston Bastiaens, president and CEO of L&H.

Mr. Bastiaens believes that this operation is a logical step for the company to generate vast opportunities in the existing business markets and to optimise the available potential within L&H. In addition, the company structure will become more transparent and easier to understand. During the past year of 1999, L&H's Health Care Solutions Group has been actively involved in the acquisition of new financial means and has equally developed a high-quality technological solution for dictation and transcription in the medical sector. L&H recently has closed a series of agreements to obtain support in the area of medical technology. After these acquisitions will have been integrated, the company will design a comprehensive solution for the health care industry in the course of this year.

As a result, L&H has agreed to purchase all assets made available by Omni-Med Transcription, a major medical transcription company headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. Omni-Med has an impressive customer base of more than 300 health organisations as well as a strong management team, which will allow L&H to commercialise even faster their high-quality technological products for dictation and transcription to benefit the medical world. L&H has also acquired Rodeer Systems, a medical transcription company, based in South Florida. This firm has a large expertise in developing global health care solutions and includes a powerful medical transcription enterprise in the south-east of the United States.

In addition, L&H will acquire Linguistic Technologies (LTI) as well. Located in Minneapolis, this company is specialised in speech recognition technology for the medical transcription market. LTI has designed advanced software to run the traditional medical transcription process more efficiently. L&H aims to integrate LTI's technologies, products, and the engineering team within its own research & development team and portfolio of health care technologies and products. These three novel acquisitions will constitute an investment of approximately $40 million while the L&H company expects supplementary benefits to rise to about $9 million.

L&H will integrate all three purchased enterprises into its key activities, like speech and linguistic technologies, including the PowerScribe total solution for dictation and the Natural Language Technology (NLT). This take-up will eventually result in advanced solutions to improve the entire medical process of dictation and transcription. In this way, the company hopes to contribute in reducing the working time for drawing up medical reports, optimising the clinical data processing and patient care, minimising the transcription costs, and enhancing the productivity of the transcription personnel.

The planned dictation and transcription solution as well as the acquisitions will provide L&H with a leading position within the health care industry. The new acquisitions have the potential to generate increased revenues of some $25 million in the year 2000. All three new acquisitions are expected to be neutral with regard to the revenue per share for 2000 and to demonstrate a progressive growth after 2000. For more news on L&H's health care solution activities, we refer to the VMW October 1999 issue for the article Finalization of Fonix acquisition gives L&H resources to offer enterprise wide health care reporting solutions.


Leslie Versweyveld

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