Charles River Laboratories International (NYSE: CRL), a global early-stage contract research organization (CRO), announced it has purchased the French non-clinical lab Citoxlab. Based in Evreux Cedex, France, the target specializes in regulated safety assessment services, non-regulated discovery services, and medical device testing. The deal cost Charles River $510 million, roughly 13.8x EBITDA for Citoxlab.

The acquisition strengthens Charles River’s services in general and in specialty toxicology, preclinical medical device testing, non-regulated discovery solutions, and genomics research. The deal is expected to add $115-$130 million to Charles River’s 2019 revenue. On a trailing 12-month basis, Charles River generated revenue of $2.14 billion, EBITDA of $495.02 million, and net income of $135.38 million.

The CRO market has seen some steady activity. This transaction is the fourth involving a CRO this year, matching the total for January and February in 2018. In fact, Charles River was responsible for the largest deal in that timeframe, acquiring MPI Research for $800 million.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, there were a total of six CRO deals. The first quarter is not yet over, so it’s possible we break that number before the end of it.