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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.

CR-000172

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Charles River Laboratories Increases Stake in Charles River Japan

WILMINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 6, 2003--Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (NYSE:CRL) today announced that it has increased its ownership interest in Charles River Japan, a joint venture with Ajinomoto Co., Inc.

Charles River purchased 404,321 shares of Charles River Japan for

  • 1.3 billion yen, or $10.4 million dollars at current exchange rates. The purchase, which was made from existing funds, increases the company's ownership interest to 85.01%. Ajinomoto will continue to be a partner in Charles River Japan, providing administrative and other support to the joint venture. The transaction has been approved by the Japanese government.

Because its ownership interest was in excess of 50%, Charles River has historically consolidated the results of Charles River Japan in its financial statements. The effect of this transaction will be slightly accretive to 2003 diluted earnings per share.

In 1981, Charles River and Ajinomoto established the joint venture, Charles River Japan, to provide research models to the Japanese market. The joint venture combined Charles River's model creation expertise with Ajinomoto's business management in the Japanese market. A successful venture, Charles River Japan has become the leader in the Japanese research models market.

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 76 facilities in 16 countries worldwide.

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements. This document 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," "estimate," "plan," and "project" and other similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. 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, and the company expressly does not undertake any duty to update forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this document. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: 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; loss of key personnel; interest rate and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations; and changes in generally accepted accounting principles. A further description of these risks, uncertainties, and other matters can be found in the Risk Factors detailed in the Company's registration statement on Form S-3 as filed on April 9, 2002, with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACT: Charles River Laboratories International, Inc.
Susan E. Hardy, 978/658-6000, ext. 1616


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