Contingencies and commitments

Contingencies and commitments

Contractual obligations and commitments

We entered into lease agreements for office and laboratories which qualify as operating leases. We also have certain purchase commitments principally with CRO subcontractors.

On 30 September 2016, we had outstanding obligations for future minimum rent payments and purchase commitments, which become due as follows:

(thousands of €)


Less than 1 year

1–3 years

3–5 years

More than 5 years

Operating lease obligations






Purchase commitments




Total contractual obligations & commitments






Contingent liabilities and assets

On 13 March 2014, we announced the signing of a definitive agreement to sell the service division operations to Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (the “Buyer”) for a total consideration of up to €134 million. The Buyer agreed to pay us an immediate cash consideration of €129 million. The potential earn-out of €5 million due upon achievement of a revenue target 12 months after closing of the transaction was not obtained. Approximately 5% of the total consideration, including price adjustments, is being held on an escrow account. To date, four claims have been introduced by the Buyer, of which three claims have been settled for a total amount of €1.0 million. One claim is still being investigated. An amount of €0.3 million has been accrued in March 2015 based on a preliminary estimate of the exposure. The release of the escrow account will be possible after final agreement between the parties on the amounts at stake.

Following the divestment, we remain guarantor for a limited transitional period in respect of the lease obligations for certain U.K. premises amounting to £4 million future rent payments. The Buyer will fully indemnify us against all liabilities arising in connection with the lease obligation. We evaluated the risk to be remote. Finally, following common practice, we have given representations and warranties which are capped and limited in time (since 1 April 2016, the Buyer can only introduce a claim covered by the Tax Deed (during a period of 5 years), other claims related to the sale cannot be submitted anymore).

In the course of 2008, a former director of one of the subsidiaries sued for wrongful termination and sought damages of €1.1 million. We believe that the amount of damages claimed is unrealistically high. Considering the defense elements provided and the recent court judgment in our favor, our Board and management evaluated the risk to be remote to possible, but not likely. Accordingly, it was decided not to record any provision in 2016, as the exposure was considered to be limited.