By Ha'aretz Staff SHL Telemedicine of Tel Aviv will acquire the American Raytel Medical Corporation in a $31 million deal, SHL announced yesterday. The merger will give SHL a footing in the U.S., a market it has not yet entered.

SHL, a developer and marketer of telemedicine devices and provider of telemedicine services, yesterday announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which SHL will acquire Raytel Medical Corporation, a leading U.S. provider of remote cardiac monitoring and testing. According to the terms of the agreement, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SHL will put forward a tender offer for all of Raytel's outstanding shares at a price of $10.25 per share in cash, for a total of approximately $31.1 million, which represents a premium of approximately 28 percent over the closing price on February 7, 2002. Following completion of the tender offer, the SHL subsidiary will be merged with Raytel.

SHL was founded in 1987, and is listed on SWX New Market, which is the segment of the Swiss Stock Exchange for fast-growing companies. SHL holds 19.9 percent of the shares in the joint venture Philips HeartCare Telemedicine Services Europe B.V. In 2000, SHL reported revenues of $19.5 million and a profit of $1.2 million. In the first nine months of 2001, SHL achieved revenues of $22.0 million and a profit of $12.3 million. SHL stated that preliminary financial results for fiscal year 2001 are expected to meet or exceed revenue and profitability forecasts of the investment community. SHL is best known in Israel for its subsidiary, Shahal Israel, which provides home telemedicine services to subscribers at home or elsewhere.

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