The location of Medical Advisory Systems Inc. was incorrect in the Oct. 18 Bytes column. The firm is in Owings, Md. (Published 10/25/1999)

Intel's Stake in Proxicom

Proxicom Inc.'s secondary offering of stock earlier this month resulted in chipmaker Intel Corp. making a sizable investment in the Reston e-commerce company.

Intel spent about $5 million on the investment, which came about after Proxicom sold 3.6 million shares Oct. 8, raising nearly $190 million. Most of the money raised, however, went to more than a dozen current owners of the stock, including several venture funds and insiders. The company sold 1 million shares on its own account, raising about $52 million for corporate purposes.

Intel in recent months has pursued a strategy of getting into services, particularly Web-hosting. Earlier this month the California company said it would open a large Web-hosting center in Fairfax County. At the same time, Intel entered into a collaboration agreement with Proxicom to develop and market Web-hosting and Internet-development platforms.

Proxicom had 1998 sales of $42 million, but it lost $20 million. It has 380 employees.

Firms to Merge

Two McLean software firms are merging.

A subsidiary of Advanced Technology Systems Inc. signed a definitive agreement Friday to buy n-Vision Inc. for 50 cents a share, or about $1.3 million, in cash.

N-Vision makes three-dimensional display systems for virtual reality applications. It has 12 employees and had sales of $2.7 million last year. Advanced Technology is a diversified systems engineering company. The merger is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Primus Debt Offering

McLean-based Primus Telecommunication Group Inc. raised $250 million from an offering of debt this week. The voice, data and Internet service company sold the senior notes, bearing 12.75 percent and due in 2009, in a private placement.

The company said the proceeds will fund capital expenditures and will be used to expand its network. The money will also fund operating losses. Primus had sales of $421 million in 1998 but lost $64 million. It employs more than 800 people.

Doctors on Call

Medical Advisory Systems Inc. of Owings Mills, Md., launched a new subsidiary that offers fee-based phone-in medical information services staffed by doctors.

The move is the latest in the company's broad strategy to offer physician-provided medical information for a fee, especially over the World Wide Web.

The new subsidiary, called Doc-Talk LLC, is being marketed through its agreement with the online medical information provider AmericasDoctor.com.

Medical Advisory Systems started out in the 1980s as a provider of medical services to merchant ships at sea. But the Internet has been a boon to its fortunes. It became the sole provider of doctors to AmericasDoctor.com, one of the better-known medical information Web sites (and a neighbor in Owings Mills) last year.

The developments have sent the company's stock on a rocket ride. It hit a low one year ago at 47 cents, and shot up as high as $30 last May. It settled into the $9 range last week.