Checkfree buys BlueGill for $250 million

CheckFree Holdings (Nasdaq: CKFR) said Tuesday it will buy BlueGill Technologies for $250 million in order to offer a more complete and simplified method of Internet billing.

Shares in the electronic billing and payment company closed Monday at 89 5/16, continuing the stock's hockey-stick growth curve which has been bolstered by upside earnings surprises.

BlueGill is expected to add about $5 million of incremental revenue, and to dilute earnings by about 10 cents a share before amortization charges for the remainder of CheckFree's fiscal year, the company said in its press release.

CheckFree intends to extend its market position with BlueGill's open standards-based biller software products, partnership network, and international reach. Combined, CheckFree and BlueGill will offer billers, banks, Internet portals and business partners a simplified product that will accelerate Internet-billing. The new process will also provide event tracking and customer support.

CheckFree will exchange about 3.2 million shares of CheckFree stock for all outstanding BlueGill Capital Stock, based on a valuation of $250 million. The transaction will be accounted for as a purchase, and is expected to close in early calendar 2000.