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Charles River provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around the globe accelerate their research and drug development efforts. Our dedicated employees are focused on providing clients with exactly what they need to improve and expedite the discovery, early-stage development and safe manufacture of new therapies for the patients who need them.


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Charles River Fully Retires LBO-Related Debt
WILMINGTON, Mass., Jun 14, 2002 (BW HealthWire) -- Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (NYSE:CRL) today announced that it has retired the remaining balance of its indebtedness related to the September 1999 management-led leveraged buy-out transaction. The Company paid-off $68.6 million in term debt, leaving an undrawn available revolving credit line of $30 million. The retirement of debt will be accretive to EPS by $0.02 in 2002. The Company will record an after-tax extraordinary loss of $1.1 million in its second quarter, related to the early retirement of debt. In total, Charles River has retired nearly $400 million of debt incurred in the leveraged transaction. The Company has approximately $185 million of convertible debt outstanding, bearing 3.5% interest, which was issued earlier this year. Its high-yield bonds issued in connection with the LBO, which carried a 13.5% interest rate, were also retired earlier this year. The retirement of debt reflects Charles River's strong financial performance over the nearly three years since its separation from its former parent company, Bausch & Lomb.

James C. Foster, Chairman & CEO of Charles River commented: "The pay-off of our remaining term debt is a meaningful event for us, in that it evidences the retirement of the last piece of our LBO-related debt. We have repaid this debt well ahead of schedule, and replaced a portion of it with dramatically lower-cost borrowing. We have now fully completed the transition from a leveraged company to one with a strong balance sheet, as well as one with excellent ongoing cash flow going forward. Our cash position and balance sheet will allow us to continue to expand and grow our business, at low financing costs."

Charles River Laboratories, based in Wilmington, Massachusetts, is a leading provider of critical research tools and integrated support services that enable innovative and efficient drug discovery and development. The Company is the global leader in providing the animal research models required in research and development for new drugs, devices and therapies. The Company also offers a broad and growing portfolio of biomedical products and services that enable customers to reduce cost, increase speed, and enhance productivity and effectiveness in drug discovery and development. Charles River's customer base spans over 50 countries, and includes all of the major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as many leading hospitals and academic institutions. The Company operates 78 facilities in 16 countries worldwide.

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements: This document includes certain "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current expectations, and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by the forward looking statements, including acquisition integration risks, special interest groups, contaminations, industry trends, new displacement technologies, outsourcing trends, USDA and FDA regulation, changes in law, continued availability of products and supplies, personnel and control, and others that are described in more detail in the Risk Factors contained in the Company's SEC filings. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update forward looking statements, and otherwise claims the safe harbor protections for forward looking statements afforded under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

CONTACT:          Charles River Laboratories International, Inc.
                  Dennis R. Shaughnessy, 978-658-6000 ext.1207

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