Nexxlink Acquires Additional Assets From CGI


    - These assets operate under the corporate name Meta-4 Technical Support
      Services and generate revenues of $15 M annually
    - CGI to increase its interest in Nexxlink's capital stock


MONTREAL, March 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Nexxlink Technologies Inc. (TSX: NTI),
a leading Canadian provider of integrated information technology solutions,
and CGI Group Inc. (TSX: GIB.A; NYSE: GIB) announce the signature of an
irrevocable memorandum of understanding for the acquisition by Nexxlink of
assets of Meta-4 Technical Support Services ("Meta-4"). This company offers
Canada-wide installation, maintenance and technical services for a broad range
of electronic equipment such as computer systems, automatic teller machines
(ATMs) and video lottery terminals. 
Founded in 1981, Meta-4 employs about 170 people and generates revenues
of over $15 million annually. From its offices in Montreal, Quebec City,
Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, Meta-4 serves hundreds of organizations of all
sizes, including Mouvement Desjardins, Jean Coutu Group, National Bank of
Canada and Loto-Quebec. Notably, Meta-4 maintains 4,200 ATMs and 4,300 video
lottery terminals. 
"This acquisition fits well with our growth strategy," stated Karol
Brassard, Executive Chairman of the Board of Nexxlink. "It strengthens our
technical team considerably, while enabling us to provide our clients with
enhanced service and to better meet the technical requirements of our partner
CGI's clients. Given the convergence of technologies toward IT, Nexxlink will
be able to support various peripherals and thereby offer more complete and
integrated solutions." 
Serge Godin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at CGI, said: "We are
pleased to complete this second transaction with Nexxlink. The sale of Meta-4,
which is a better fit with Nexxlink's mission, will reinforce the business
alliance with our partner." 
"It is with great pleasure that we welcome Meta-4's employees into the
Nexxlink team. Their integration broadens our field of expertise and gives the
Company critical mass in the technical services area. We now have more than
200 experienced technicians, enabling us to undertake larger-scale
installation and technical support mandates," added Robert Courteau,
Nexxlink's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Thanks to this capacity and
our state-of-the-art technical helpdesk, companies can more than ever rely on
Nexxlink for efficient 24/7 technical support." 
On the closing of this transaction scheduled for April 2004, Nexxlink
will pay $9.0 million to CGI as follows: $1.5 million cash on the signing;
$1.5 million as a balance of sale; $3.0 million through the issue of an
interest-bearing note repayable in 24 months; and $3.0 million through the
issue of 441,000 shares of Nexxlink at a price of $6.80 per share, raising
CGI's interest in the Company's capital stock from 32% to 35%. 
"This transaction is just as advantageous financially as it is
strategically. First, it will increase our recurring revenues as Meta-4
benefits from contracts with an average term of about three years and an order
backlog of over $25 million. And secondly, it will boost Nexxlink's adjusted
earnings per share," concluded Mr. Brassard. "Following this acquisition, the
Company will have close to 900 employees and generate sales of some
$125 million annually." 
Nexxlink intends to make offers of employment to all staff associated
with the technical support services branch of the business, based on the same
global conditions as those in place prior to the conclusion of the final
agreement, including preservation of seniority. This transaction is subject to
certain conditions, including the conclusion of a final agreement governing
asset purchases that will contain the usual representations and warranties
associated with this type of transaction and the approvals of the applicable
regulatory authorities. The final and conclusive memorandum of understanding
has been approved by all of Nexxlink's directors, except for the two
individuals who represent CGI at the board of Nexxlink and who abstained from
voting in light of their relationship with CGI. Pursuant to Policy Statement  
Q-27 ("Q-27") adopted by the Autorite des marches financiers and Rule 61-501
("61-501") adopted by the Ontario Securities Commission, this transaction
qualifies as a related party transaction. Although the transaction qualifies
as such, it is exempted from the valuation requirement with respect to the
purchased assets and from the minority approval by the shareholders of
Nexxlink as a result of the fair market value of the transaction not exceeding
25% of the market capitalization of Nexxlink, calculated as per Q-27 and     
61-501. 
Conference call 
The conference call discussing these results will be held on Tuesday,
March 23, 2004, at 10:00 AM (EST). To access it, dial 1-800-814-4860. Please
connect approximately five minutes prior to the beginning of the call to
ensure participation. To access the archived conference call, dial            
1-877-289-8525, reservation number 21043582(pound key). The conference call
will be archived for replay until April 23, 2004, at midnight. 
Involved in the information technology (IT) industry since 1977, Nexxlink
Technologies Inc. is a leading Canadian provider of integrated IT solutions.
The simple and efficient solutions provided by the Company allow businesses to
focus on their core competencies. Nexxlink truly offers hassle-free computing
services. Nexxlink achieves approximately $100 million in annual sales and
employs some 700 people across the country. The Company's shares are listed on
the TSX under the ticker symbol NTI. Web Site: www.nexxlink.com . 
Founded in 1976, CGI is among the largest independent information
technology and business process services firms in North America. CGI and its
affiliated companies employ approximately 20,000 professionals. CGI provides
end-to-end IT and business process services to clients worldwide from offices
in Canada, the United States, Europe, as well as from centers of excellence in
India and Canada. CGI's annualized revenue run rate is currently
CDN$2.8 billion (US$2.1 billion) and at December 31, 2003, CGI's order backlog
was CDN$12.2 billion (US$9.3 billion). CGI's shares are listed on the TSX
(GIB.A) and the NYSE (GIB) and are included in the S&P/TSX Composite Index as
well as the S&P/TSX Capped Information Technology and MidCap Indices. Website:
www.cgi.com . 


    Forward-looking statements contained in this press release involve known
    and unknown risks, uncertainties or other factors that may cause actual
    results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially
    different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed
    or implied by such forward-looking statements.
    %SEDAR: 00003245EF
    -0-                           03/22/2004


/For further information: Nexxlink Technologies Inc. (TSX: NTI): Karol 
Brassard, Executive Chairman of the Board or Robert Courteau, President and 
Chief Executive Officer, 1 877 Nexxlink, (514) 828-4428, www.nexxlink.com; CGI 
Group Inc. (TSX: gib.a, NYSE: gib): Julie Creed, Vice-President, Investor 
Relations, 1 (312) 201-4803 or Ronald White, Director, Investor Relations, 
1 (514) 841-3230 or Eileen Murphy, Director, Media Relations, 
1 (514) 841-3430, www.cgi.com; Renmark Financial Communications Inc.: Sylvain 
Laberge - slaberge(at)renmarkfinancial.com or Michael Small - 
msmall(at)renmarkfinancial.com; Media : Colette Saulnier - 
csaulnier(at)renmarkfinancial.com, (514) 939-3989, www.renmarkfinancial.com/ 
(NTI. GIB.A. GIB) 
CO:  NEXXLINK TECHNOLOGIES INC.; CGI GROUP INC.
ST:  Quebec
IN:  NET MLM CPR 
SU:  CCA TNM  
-30- 
-0- Mar/22/2004 22:31 GMT
 
 
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