Roberts Pharmaceutical Corp. said Tuesday that it has enteredinto a letter of intent to acquire for $6.25 million NationalClinical Research Centers Inc., a clinical trials managementcompany.

Roberts of Eatontown, N.J., will pay $2 million in cash and $4.25million in Roberts stock (NASDAQ:RPCX). The shares closed at$34.75, up 25 cents, on Tuesday.

The acquisition "is motivated by Roberts' desire to augment itsdrug development capabilities for its own new drug pipeline,"said Robert A. Vukovich, Roberts' chairman and CEO. Robertswill also participate in the contract research industry.

NCRC of Bethesda, Md., had 1991 revenues of about $6 million.

The transaction, which is subject to a definitive agreement andapproval by Roberts' board, is expected to close in earlyFebruary.

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