PITTSBURGH, April 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Highmark Inc. today commenced its Offer to Purchase and Consent Solicitation for any and all Allegheny County Development Authority Health System Revenue Bonds (West Penn Allegheny Health System) Series 2007A at a price of 87.5 percent of the original principal amount, plus accrued but unpaid interest from the last interest payment date. The tender offer will expire on April 26, 2013, unless extended in accordance with its terms. As previously announced, the holders of more than 76 percent of the outstanding principal amount of the Bonds have agreed to tender their Bonds and consent to certain amendments to the related indentures and loan agreement. The tender offer is subject to various conditions. Highmark is making the tender offer in anticipation of moving forward with its proposed affiliation with West Penn Allegheny Health System, Inc. (WPAHS). The tender offer is the next step in Highmark's plan to create an integrated delivery network, which includes WPAHS. The consensual plan, which was announced in mid-January between Highmark, WPAHS and selected WPAHS bondholders, will reduce WPAHS' outstanding debt and strengthen its financial position, thereby forming a more solid foundation for the health system's future success. The affiliation between Highmark and WPAHS is the subject of a filing that is currently pending before the Pennsylvania Insurance Department (PID). Highmark continues to work with the PID in an attempt to obtain the necessary approvals that will allow it to move forward with the affiliation. While the PID's review continues, Highmark remains optimistic about its ability to conclude the affiliation in accordance with its terms and within the deadlines in the tender offer. Highmark is also encouraged by the strong public support the proposed affiliation has received from the community and elected officials who recognize the importance of preserving health care choice in Western Pennsylvania and the 12,000 jobs at WPAHS. Important Information This press release is for informational purposes only, and is neither an offer to purchase nor a solicitation of an offer to sell securities. The solicitation of tenders of Bonds will only be made pursuant to the offer to Offer to Purchase and Consent Solicitation that Highmark will be mailing to holders of the Bonds. Bondholders should read those materials carefully because they contain important information, including the various terms and conditions of the offer. Bondholders can obtain copies of the Offer to Purchase and Consent Solicitation without charge by written or oral request directed to the Information and Tender Agent for tender offer, Bondholder Communications Group, 30 Broad St., 46th floor, New York, NY 10004, Attn: Winnie Peters, Telephone: (212) 809-2663, e-mail: email@example.com. The Offer to Purchase and Consent Solicitation will also be available at the section of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's Electronic Municipal Market Access website which relates to the Bonds: http://emma.msrb.org/SecurityView/SecurityDetailsARD.aspx?cusip=A599F1CAC0E930CEDC73D8678EFC21259. About Highmark Inc. Highmark Inc. is a national diversified health and wellness company based in Pittsburgh that serves 34.4 million people across the United States through its businesses in health insurance, dental insurance, vision care, information technology and integrated health care delivery. The company, which has more than 20,000 employees, is among the largest health insurers in the U.S. and the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated company. Highmark operates health insurance plans in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia that serve 4.9 million members. The company also offers health and wellness products to clients with employees throughout the country and is a recognized leader in reinsurance. In addition, Highmark operates more than 600 optical retail stores (Visionworks) and four U.S.-based eyewear manufacturing facilities. Highmark is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com. SOURCE Highmark Inc.