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Hill Laboratories/Cawthron purchase agreement unconditional

Hill Laboratories’ purchase agreement with Cawthron now unconditional

Hamilton, 1 June 2012 - Following due diligence, Hill Laboratories confirmed today that its purchase agreement with the Cawthron Institute, originally announced on 16 March, is now unconditional.

As part of the sale, Cawthron’s wine and microbiological testing services provided from its Blenheim offices will be transferred to Hill Laboratories. Additionally, Cawthron’s environmental chemistry testing division, previously located in Nelson, has been amalgamated into Hill Laboratories’ environmental testing division.

No Cawthron staff members at either site were made redundant as part of the acquisition.

For Hill Laboratories, the purchase provides an opportunity to strengthen two key areas of its business – wine and environmental testing.

Hill Laboratories has recently expanded its business with the opening of a new wine lab in Christchurch. Roger Hill, Managing Director of Hill Laboratories, says the acquisition of Cawthron’s wine testing expertise will help expand Hill’s offering to the industry.

“Hill Labs recently launched our Vine to Vintage wine testing service from our new wine lab in Christchurch. We are now the only laboratory in New Zealand offering every test a winery requires – from vineyard to finished wine - under one roof. Acquiring Cawthron’s export certification testing business allows us to strengthen our services to our wine industry customers even further, while providing us with an excellent base in Marlborough wine country.

“Acquiring Cawthron’s environmental testing also fits well with Hills, as it is one of our company’s core capabilities. We are committed to growing our environmental testing laboratory in Christchurch, which now employs a large number of staff members. This acquisition allows us to invest further into this key area of our business,” explains Dr Hill.

The Cawthron Institute is working with Hill Laboratories over the next six months to ensure a smooth transition for customers.

“Our focus now has turned to communicating with our new customers. We’re contacting each of them over the coming month to assure them the testing services they require will continue at the high level of customer service both Cawthron and Hills’ clients have come to expect,” explains Dr Hill.

The Cawthron Institute will continue to operate from its headquarters in Nelson. The Institute has refocused its business to concentrate on supporting the food and functional food industries by facilitating access for food products to local and international markets. It is also maintaining its core microbiology services for both environmental and food testing.

ENDS

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