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This file photo shows CAE's headquarters, located in Montreal.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

A division of CAE Inc. is paying $130-million (U.S.) to acquire Medical Education Technologies, Inc., a U.S. company that supplies simulation technologies to train health-care professionals around the world.

The acquisition is a major step in the Montreal-based company's move into medical simulation technology and services.

It's a relatively new area of business for CAE, which is best known as the world's largest producer of full flight simulators used to train commercial pilots. It also has a major military division that provides training equipment and services.

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METI, which employs more than 200 people in the United States, Hungary and Germany, has its main operations in Sarasota, Fla.

There are currently about 6,000 METI simulators used worldwide by medical schools, nursing schools, hospitals, defence forces and other entities involved in healthcare education and training. The company has a network of more than 40 distributors in 40 countries.

"The acquisition of METI is an important step in the advancement of our healthcare strategy because it expands CAE Healthcare's product portfolio and gives it much greater market access," said Marc Parent, CAE's president and chief executive officer.

Michael Bernstein, CEO of METI, will become president of CAE Healthcare.

"The opportunity to become part of CAE, the de facto standard in the world of simulation, is great for our employees, our customers and for the health-care community as a whole," Mr. Bernstein said.

"By joining a world-leading company with CAE's credibility and a track record of improving quality, safety and efficiency with simulation-based training, we will be able to take the healthcare simulation industry to an entirely new level."

CAE said it has issued $150-million of debt securities in a private placement to fund the acquisition and to replace other obligations at lower interest rates. The average maturity is 11.7 years with an average interest rate of 4.5 per cent.

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