Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (NYSE:CRL) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 75% ownership of Vital River, the premier commercial provider of research models and related services in China. Through this acquisition, Charles River will provide high-quality research models and associated services to the emerging China market for drug discovery and development. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013, subject to customary closing conditions, including Chinese regulatory approvals.
James C. Foster, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Charles River Laboratories, commented, “We expect demand for research models in China to significantly increase 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 ten years, Vital River has been a licensee for production and distribution of Charles River research models in China, with sites which reflect Charles River facility design.
Charles River expects to acquire the 75% ownership of Vital River for approximately $27 million, subject to certain closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to add more than 1% to 2013 total net sales on a full-year basis and be slightly accretive to 2013 earnings per share. When the acquisition is completed, 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.Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “expect,” “will,” “may,” “estimate,” “plan,” “outlook,” and “project” and other similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. Forward-looking statements include statements in this press release regarding the acquisition of the majority interest in Vital River or any acquisition of additional interest, expectations regarding the eventual closing of the acquisition, and Charles River’s expectations with respect to the impact of Vital River on the Company, its service offerings, net sales and earnings, as well as Charles River’s future growth in the area of research models and services in China. Forward-looking statements are based on Charles River’s current expectations and beliefs, and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict and that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by the forward-looking statements. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the ability to successfully consummate the acquisition of Vital River. A further description of these risks, uncertainties, and other matters can be found in the Risk Factors detailed in Charles River's Annual Report on Form 10-K as filed on February 27, 2012, as well as other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Because forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, actual results and events may differ materially from results and events currently expected by Charles River, and Charles River assumes no obligation and expressly disclaims any duty to update information contained in this news release except as required by law.
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