Québec Cabinet Approves the Agreement on the Transfer of Red Cross Assets to Héma-Québec

SAINT-LAURENT, QUEBEC, July 23, 1998 - The Québec cabinet recently approved the agreement for the transfer of the Red Cross blood program in Québec to HÉMA-QUÉBEC. This is an important step in the setting up of the province's new supplier of blood and blood products, which will begin operations on September 1, 1998.

The Québec government was represented at the negotiation table, and all parties agree that the purchase price set is reasonable. Québec will therefore acquire the assets of the Red Cross Blood Services in the province in exchange for $19. 1 million. Mechanisms for the September 1, 1998, transfer to HÉMA-QUÉBEC, including those to be used to determine the cost of purchasing the inventory, have been established in the acquisition agreement.

"This is an important step in the process of putting HÉMA-QUÉBEC's structure in place. The organization is actively preparing to take over its blood supply responsibilities on September 1, 1998. HÉMA-QUÉBEC will be responsible for the quality of the blood and blood products it supplies to Québec hospitals," said Dr. Francine Décary, Executive Director of HÉMA-QUÉBEC.