PRWT Acquires Chemical Manufacturing Facility from Merck & Co., Inc.

Deal Makes PRWT the First Minority-Owned Manufacturer of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) in the US and Preserves Employment at Cherokee Facility in Riverside, PA

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- PRWT Services, Inc., a minority-owned business enterprise, today announced that it has, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Cherokee Pharmaceuticals LLC, acquired the Cherokee chemical manufacturing plant in Riverside, PA, from Merck & Co., Inc. of Whitehouse Station, NJ. Cherokee has also entered into a five-year supply agreement with Merck for an estimated value of $100-200 million annually.

Willie F. Johnson, Chairman & CEO of PRWT, said: "The acquisition of the Cherokee plant is consistent with PRWT's vision of growing the company by expanding into new markets, services, and lines of business. By establishing a presence in the Life Sciences market, PRWT can now participate in an industry with tremendous growth potential and establish a strategic supplier relationship with Merck, one of the premier pharmaceutical companies in the world." Mr. Johnson also acknowledged PRWT's employees who have established a culture of excellence at PRWT that gave Merck the confidence to complete this historic deal.

The Cherokee plant is a state-of-the-art API manufacturing facility of products/antibiotics for humans and animals. All 400 employees working at the plant will be offered jobs and are expected to transfer their employment from Merck to PRWT effective January 01, 2008, 2008. PRWT also intends to make considerable capital investments in the Cherokee plant to support the growth of the business and increase the number of jobs available in the local community.

Justin Noll, the Cherokee plant manager, stated, "We are genuinely excited about the sale of the plant and becoming part of PRWT. Not only will it be good for the employees, but also for the community at large. We are looking forward to being a stand-alone company and a company which will have great potential for expansion."

The sale of the site is part of Merck's global restructuring of its manufacturing operations (announced November 2005) to create a global manufacturing network that is better aligned to Merck's current and anticipated future product demand.

"The sale of the Cherokee plant, along with the supplier relationship Merck has established with Cherokee Pharmaceuticals, is another important step in the realigning of our manufacturing operations," said Larry Naldi, Senior Vice President, Science & Technology, Merck Manufacturing Division. "The completion of this sale also enables Merck to continue to have a presence in the local community through its interactions with Cherokee."

About PRWT Services, Inc.

PRWT is a nationally recognized African-American owned business headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. Founded in 1988, PRWT provides business process outsourcing (BPO) services to state and local governments across the country. PRWT is one of America's largest minority-owned businesses and has been ranked in the top 100 by Black Enterprise magazine for the past seven years. In 2000, PRWT entered a new line of business by acquiring U.S. Facilities, Inc. (USF), a facilities management company headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. Since being acquired by PRWT, USF has won several multi- million-dollar contracts in the federal and municipal markets. For more information, visit http://www.prwt.com.

About Merck

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck currently discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The Company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service. For more information, visit http://www.merck.com.

CONTACT: Sherri Kyle of PRWT, Office, +1-215-988-8954, Mobile,+1-215-284-3075; or Betse Humphrey of Cherokee Pharmaceuticals, Office,+1-570-271-2216, Pager, +1-570-988-1515; or John Bloomfield of Merck & Co.,Inc., +1-908-423-5491, Mobile, +1-215-622-5416

Web site: http://www.prwt.com/http://www.merck.com/

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Posted: January 2008


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