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Mars to buy almost-800-practice VCA


Candy and pet food company, which already owns the Banfield and BluePearl chains, will pay $9.1 billion for VCAs almost-800-practice business.

Photo courtesy of Mars, Incorporated. Mars and VCA announced that they have entered an agreement under which Mars will acquire all of the outstanding shares of VCA for $93 per share, or a total value of approximately $9.1 billion, including $1.4 billion in outstanding debt, according to a recent news release.

Mars Petcare already owns other veterinary practice chains, including Banfield Pet Hospital  BluePearl and Pet Partners. Mars Petcare's other pet-focused brands include the pet foods Royal Canin, Pedigree and Whiskas; the pet DNA test Wisdom Panel; and the pet technology provider Whistle.

The transaction price represents a premium of approximately 41 percent over VCA's 30-day volume weighted average price as of Jan. 6, and a premium of approximately 31 percent over VCA's closing price that day. The agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, according to the release.

“We are thrilled to welcome VCA to the Mars family and to our portfolio of brands and businesses around the world,” says Mars CEO Grant Reid in the release. “VCA is a leader across pet health care, and the opportunity we see together-for pets, pet owners, veterinarians and other pet care providers-is tremendous.”

Since its founding in 1986, VCA has grown from one facility in Los Angeles to nearly 800 animal hospitals, with 60 diagnostic laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. Through organic growth and a series of acquisitions, VCA has become one of the largest pet healthcare companies, operating across four divisions including pet care services, veterinary services, laboratory diagnostics, imaging equipment and medical technology, according to the release.

“Joining the Mars family of brands provides significant value to our stockholders while also preserving [VCA's] values and a culture focused on investing in our people and facilities to promote excellence in pet care and long-term growth,” says VCA CEO Bob Antin in the release. 

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