Pets at Home is delighted to announce the acquisition of joint venture veterinary business, Vets4Pets. Following this acquisition Pets at Home will integrate Vets4Pets’ 93 stand-alone veterinary practices with its existing 116 in-store joint venture vet business, Companion Care.

The integration of Vets4Pets and Companion Care will create a strong player in the small animal veterinary market, which is currently served by an estimated 2,500 practices in the UK, enabling Pets at Home to grow a network of veterinary practices both in its stores and in stand-alone locations. In the year to 31 March 2013, sales from the combined underlying JV practices will total £100m.

Following the acquisition, Vets4Pets’ UK operational centre will remain in the East Midlands, with its support functions being split between Companion Care’s operation in Oxfordshire and Vets4Pets’ Guernsey office.

Commenting on this acquisition Nick Wood, CEO said:

“The expansion of our veterinary business is a key element of our growth strategy for Pets at Home, providing additional services to our customers within our stores or close to our customers’ homes. The acquisition of Vets4Pets is an important step in the delivery of this strategy. Vets4Pets is highly complementary to Companion Care, sharing fundamental beliefs and values, and is an excellent strategic fit for Pets at Home. I am delighted that Peter Watson has agreed to stay with the business. His knowledge and experience will be invaluable as we continue to build our veterinary business with both stand-alone and in-store practices. He will work closely with Jane Balmain, the Managing Director of our Companion Care business as we integrate the two businesses.”

Peter Watson, Founder and CEO of Vets4Pets welcomed the association with Pets at Home. He said:

“Pets at Home holds a unique place in the retail landscape, built on a strong identity and a real passion for people and pets. It is clear to me that Nick and his team have a similar vision for their veterinary business. I’m delighted to be working with Nick to continue to expand the veterinary business by offering attractive joint venture opportunities for vets in stand alone locations to complement the offering in Pets at Home stores.”

Companion Care MD, Jane Balmain added:

“Companion Care and Vets4Pets each enjoy a strong reputation among both vets and customers. Both businesses have a common business model, offering joint venture partnerships with vets. I am looking forward to working alongside Peter as we bring the businesses together, continue to expand our joint venture partnerships and accelerate our growth.”

For Further Information:
Maitland 020 7379 5151
Brian Hudspith / Tom Eckersley

About Pets at Home: www.petsathome.com

Pets at Home is the UK’s leading specialist retailer of pet food, pet-related products and accessories; they also sell small animals, fish and reptiles. The company was established in 1991 and currently operates from 345 stores, totalling 2.4m sq. ft. with over 6,250 colleagues. Pets at Home was named ‘Sunday Times Best Big Company to Work For’ in 2013.

Pets at Home operates an extensive range of services including 116 in-store or stand-alone veterinary surgeries under the brand name ‘Companion Care’, and 86 in-store grooming salons under the brand name ‘The Groom Room’. In addition, Pets at Home operates the equestrian multi-channel business ‘Ride-Away’ from its showroom in York.

Pets at Home was the subject of a KKR backed buyout in 2010.

About Vets4Pets:

  • Vets4Pets was founded in 2001 by CEO, Peter Watson, as a new concept in veterinary healthcare. The company is committed to delivering first class service and high standards of care in their national network of small animal veterinary practices. It achieves this through joint venture partnerships with experienced veterinary surgeons and ambitious veterinary professionals.
  • Each Vets4Pets practice offers a comprehensive range of treatments from vaccinations, neutering, general healthcare and advice to the more specialised services of intensive care medicine and surgical procedures
  • The two National Support Centres which provide support to 93 Vets4Pets practices across the UK are based in Guernsey and in Nottingham and currently employ over 70 full time personnel.
  • The Vets4Pets team aim to offer clients and their pets the same consistent high quality healthcare we expect for ourselves, at affordable prices.
  • Details of all practice locations and the services they offer can be found by visiting www.Vets4Pets.com
  • Preventative pet healthcare includes all of the regular check-ups and treatments necessary to help keep pets in a healthy and happy condition. These include regular full health assessments, vaccinations and annual boosters to protect pets against common life threatening diseases, regular flea, tick and worm treatments, dental and weight checks.

About Companion Care:

  • Companion Care is a leader in small animal veterinary care and one of the fastest growing veterinary groups in the world.
  • Established in 2001, and now employing 1200 people, Companion Care has 116 surgeries, the majority within Pets at Home stores, offering pet loving customers a unique one stop shop opportunity.
  • Each surgery is a joint venture partnership with an experienced veterinary surgeon running each business. Our surgeries offer high quality, up to date facilities and the convenience of 7 day opening and extended opening hours.
  • Based in Kingston Lisle in Oxfordshire, Companion Care was named one of the ‘Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For’ in 2012, the first vet group to be recognised in this way and one of only 144 organisations in the UK to be classed as a Best Companies ‘outstanding’ business.

Date: 09 April 2013