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Charles River, Chinese firm link up

Charles River Laboratories International Inc., a Wilmington drug research company, said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy a 75 percent ownership stake in Vital River, a Chinese provider of pharmaceutical research models and related services. The purchase price is about $27 million.

Charles River said the acquisition would help it expand in the fast-growing Chinese market for drug discovery and development. The transaction, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013, should add more than 1 percent to Charles River sales next year while boosting earnings per share, the company said.

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The agreement gives Charles River an option to purchase the remaining 25 percent of the Chinese company at a later date.

Robert Weisman can be reached at weisman@globe.com.
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