Charles River to take majority ownership of Vital River

To expand research models and related services in China

Charles River Laboratories is to acquire 75% of Vital River, a leading commercial provider of research models and related services in China, for around US$27m, to meet growing demand for research models and services in the region.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013, subject to customary closing conditions, including Chinese regulatory approvals.

James Foster, chairman, president, and chief executive of Charles River Laboratories, said: ‘We expect demand for research models in China to increase significantly over the next several years as drug development initiatives in academia, government and biopharmaceutical companies expand.

‘Through our acquisition of Vital River, Charles River intends to set the standards for research models in China, the third-largest pharmaceutical market in the world, and play a leading role in this emerging opportunity.’

For the last decade, Vital River has been a licensee for production and distribution of Charles River research models in China, with sites that reflect Charles River facility design.

The transaction is expected to add more than 1% to Charles River’s 2013 total net sales on a full-year basis and be slightly accretive to 2013 earnings per share.

After completion, Vital River will be majority owned and controlled by Charles River. The agreement provides an option for Charles River to acquire the remaining 25% of Vital River at a later date.

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