Great Lakes Chemical sells WIL Research Labs; allies with ChlorKing

Great Lakes Chemical Corp., a producer of specialty chemicals and consumer products, and Behrman Capital, a private equity investment firm based in New York and San Francisco, today announced the sale of Great Lakes' toxicological services business, WIL Research Laboratories, to Behrman for $105 million in proceeds. In other news, a division of its BioLab unit became a distributor for ChlorKing...

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 30, 2004 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) -- Great Lakes Chemical Corp., a producer of specialty chemicals and consumer products, and Behrman Capital, a private equity investment firm based in New York and San Francisco, today announced the sale of Great Lakes' toxicological services business, WIL Research Laboratories, to Behrman for $105 million in proceeds.

Berman deal
"Divesting WIL Research Laboratories supports the company's strategy to focus on our core industrial and consumer businesses," said Great Lakes Chairman and CEO Mark Bulriss. "WIL is a tremendous asset with a highly- skilled team, and this move positions WIL more favorably for growth in the life sciences arena."

"We are very pleased to acquire WIL Research Laboratories and pleased to begin our work with WIL's management and employees to bring the company to the next stage in its growth," said Grant G. Behrman, managing partner of Behrman Capital. "WIL is a clear leader in outsourced safety and toxicological assessment research and services, a space that Behrman Capital knows well from our prior investments in this sector. We seek to build on the strong foundation that WIL and Great Lakes have established, and look forward to realizing expansion through continued investment in technology and the key products and services that WIL's clients demand."

The estimated after tax proceeds, which include the benefits of income tax loss and other credit carryforwards, will approximate $100 million. With this sale, Great Lakes' management will evaluate the company's reporting structure. A realignment of Great Lakes' reportable segments will be announced shortly.

WIL Research Laboratories, which was reported in Great Lakes' Performance Chemicals segment, provides non-clinical toxicological testing and bioanalytical contract services that provide product safety and toxicological assessment services to the pharmaceutical, chemical, and biotechnology industries. WIL currently provides nine different types of study capabilities, including general toxicology, developmental & reproductive toxicology, safety pharmacology, and juvenile toxicology.

WIL Research Laboratories was purchased by Great Lakes in 1978. Currently, there are 390 employees based at the company's Ashland, Ohio, facility and no changes are anticipated in employment levels as a result of the transaction.

Behrman Capital manages approximately $2 billion of private equity capital and focuses on a variety of industries. Founded in 1991, the firm invests in management buyouts, leveraged buildups and recapitalizations of established growth companies and provides expansion capital to emerging growth companies. Healthcare services is one of Behrman's core focus areas, and the firm has multiple holdings in a number of segments within the healthcare arena, including investments in Esoterix and Athena Diagnostics - companies that provide esoteric lab-testing services to specialty physicians and clinical trials support services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients.

ChlorKing alliance
In other news, Great Lakes Chemical announced that BioLab Commercial Pool Care (BCPC), a commercial swimming pools and spas division of the company's BioLab Inc. subsidiary, and ChlorKing, a manufacturer of commercial scale chlorine generators, have formed a partnership making the BioLab unit the master distributor for the ChlorKing product line in North America.

The partnership makes BCPC the exclusive source for this emerging technology. The broad line of ChlorKing products will be immediately available through the BCPC ProGuard Authorized Sales and Service Centers.

The ChlorKing line of commercial scale chlorine generators is a next generation offering that provides pool care professionals and commercial dealers with alternatives to traditional pool care maintenance. For the past several years chlorine generators have enjoyed huge success in residential pools. The new, patented, NSF-listed technology developed by ChlorKing, now makes salt chlorination an ideal treatment solution available for almost every commercial application.

The partnership falls in line with BioLab's commitment to provide products that are reliable, deliver better results, and that are also safer to store, handle and use than most current treatment products. ChlorKing generators are available in various sizes with chlorine outputs ranging from 2.5 pounds per day to 25 pounds per day. This allows application from small apartment or motel pools all the way up to water park type applications. They are simple to install, low maintenance and cost effective.

About Great Lakes Chemical
Indianapolis-based Great Lakes Chemical Corp. (www.greatlakes.com) is one of the world's leading producers of certain specialty chemicals for such applications as water treatment, household cleaners, flame retardants, polymer stabilizers, fire suppressants, and performance chemicals.

About BioLab
Based in Lawrenceville, Ga., BioLab supplies water treatment products for recreational and industrial applications on a global basis and specialty household consumer products in the U.S.

About ChlorKing
ChlorKing Inc. is a Georgia-based manufacturer, marketer and distributor of patented saline generating systems (on-site hypochlorite generating systems) for use in the commercial recreational pool and spa market. Established in 1999 ChlorKing manufactures systems ranging in production capacities between 2.5 lbs/day and 25 lbs/day equivalent chlorine, systems are all NSF Certified.

###

More in Lab / Sampling / Analytical