VCA to acquire Abaxis reference laboratory division


Assets will enlarge Antech Diagnostics, also owned by VCA; companies together will market full range of diagnostic products, services.

Abaxis Inc. and VCA Inc. announced last week that Antech Diagnostics, VCA's laboratory division, has agreed to acquire the assets of AVRL (Abaxis Veterinary Reference Laboratory) from Abaxis for $21 million in cash. The parties anticipate that the transaction will close by the end of this month.

Through the sale of AVRL to Antech, Abaxis will be able to focus on its core in-clinic product business, according to a joint release. It will also participate in a co-marketing relationship with Antech: Representatives from both companies will work together, in conjunction with their distributors, to market a full range of diagnostic services consisting of Abaxis's point-of-care diagnostic equipment and Antech's reference lab services.

Clint Severson, chairman, president and CEO of Abaxis, says, "AVRL was an exciting venture for Abaxis, and we are pleased that we had the opportunity to enter the reference lab market. We are proud of our accomplishments with AVRL, and we thank the many loyal customers that used our service. ... Antech has a national network of laboratories and a strong technology platform and we believe our customers will be well served."

Dr. Craig Tockman, vice president of sales and marketing with Abaxis, adds, "The Abaxis-Antech co-marketing relationship has proven to be extremely effective for both companies, particularly in larger competitive accounts. Over the past year, and with the recent significant changes in the veterinary distribution landscape, this transaction strengthens the excellent partnership we have established by combining our joint marketing efforts with the relationships and capabilities of our distributors. Antech provides superior reference lab proximity and service, and we are proud to be their partner."

Josh Drake, president of Antech, says he sees great benefit in the relationship between the two veterinary diagnostics companies. “This only strengthens the respective sales and marketing capabilities of Antech Diagnostics and Abaxis,” he says. “We are confident that this relationship will further the goals of both companies in providing a complete diagnostic solution.”

Abaxis launched its reference lab division in 2011 in partnership with Kansas State University. Its central laboratory facility is located in Olathe, Kansas, in the heart of the Animal Health Corridor.

VCA owns, operates and manages a large network of veterinary hospitals and veterinary-exclusive clinical laboratories. Along with Antech Diagnostics, it also owns Vetstreet, a provider of online communication for the veterinary profession and pet owners.

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