MDS Central Labs Operations Sold to Private Investment Group


MDS Announces Agreement to Sell Central Labs Operation to Czura Thornton

MDS Inc. (TSX: MDS; NYSE: MDZ), announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its Central Labs operation, which conducts analysis of samples from late-stage clinical trials to Czura Thornton, a private investment group based in Jersey, Channel Islands. "We intend to build and strengthen the Central Lab business," said Czura Thornton co-founder Nick Thornton, in a press release. "We believe the business's international platform, world-class facilities and highly skilled people will enhance our strong client relationships. While the Central Lab business will co-operate closely with Chiltern, our wholly owned CRO, it will be run separately."

MDS will receive approximately $8 million in proceeds from the transaction, including certain transition services. The purchase price may be increased by up to $4 million if certain performance thresholds are attained by Central Labs following the closing. The transaction is subject to customary post-closing contingencies and adjustments and should take place the fourth quarter of this year. In addition, the sale of the Central Labs operations in France and Germany is subject to review and consultation with the applicable Works Councils in accordance with labour laws in those countries.

Under the terms of the agreement, Czura Thornton would acquire MDS's Central Labs operation, which has more than 600 employees at six sites in Europe, North America and Asia. Central Labs provides a comprehensive range of late-stage laboratory services to global clients, including standardized assays, integrated data management, international laboratory study co-ordination and site support. Its proprietary, industry-leading Apollo CLPM(TM) (Central Lab Protocol Management) system offers clients real-time access to global study data.

On September 2, 2009, MDS announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell its MDS Analytical Technologies business, a leading global supplier of drug discovery and life sciences research tools, to Danaher Corporation and to return a substantial portion of the sale proceeds to shareholders. The Company also announced that it intends to sell its MDS Pharma Services business, a leading provider of innovative drug discovery and early-stage development solutions for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Assuming completion of these proposed sales, MDS will remain a publicly traded entity consisting solely of its MDS Nordion business.

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