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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.

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

Robert Weisman

Robert Weisman can be reached at