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January 7, 2016

Charles River Labs to Acquire WIL Research for $585M

  • Charles River Laboratories has agreed to acquire WIL Research for approximately $585 million cash, in a deal the buyer said today will enhance its global footprint, scientific capabilities, and access to growing market segments.

    “The acquisition will also expand our geographic footprint, particularly in continental Europe, providing needed capacity to meet current and future demand and enabling Charles River to provide a broader range of services proximate to our global clients,” James C. Foster, Charles River’s chairman, president, and CEO, said in a statement.

    Charles River added that acquiring WIL Research will enhance its position as a top-tier global early-stage CRO by strengthening its ability to partner with global clients across the drug discovery and development spectrum.

    According to Charles River, acquiring WIL Research aligns with its strategy of expanding its fastest-growing market segment of biotechnology by adding new specialty services in safety assessment and bioanalysis, as well as CDMO services. The enhanced services will also expand opportunities to partner with biotech clients, the company added.

    Charles River also said the deal will allow for expanded service business for agricultural and industrial chemical clients.

    However, Charles River said it expects to generate $17 million to $20 million of cost-cutting savings or “operational synergies” within two years of closing.

    Headquartered in Ashland, OH, with a main European site in Den Bosch, The Netherlands, WIL Research is expected to report annual revenue of approximately $215 million for 2015—an increase of approximately 9% over 2014 on a constant-currency basis.

    The deal is expected to close early in the second quarter, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Charles River said the acquisition is expected to add $150 to $170 million to its 2016 consolidated revenue, and $240 to $250 million to its 2017 consolidated revenue.

    Charles River has also projected the deal will add at least 20 cents per share this year, and 45 cents per share in 2017, to non-GAAP earnings per share. Non-GAAP earnings per share are expected to exclude all acquisition-related costs, which primarily include amortization of intangible assets, costs associated with efficiency initiatives, advisory fees, and third-party integration costs.

    The acquisition and associated fees are expected to be financed through an expansion of Charles River’s credit facility and cash.

    Once the deal is completed, WIL Research results will be reported primarily as part of Charles River’s Discovery and Safety Assessment segment, the buyer added.

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