Mars to acquire animal hospitals, laboratories

by Erica Shaffer
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MCLEAN, Va. – Mars Inc., a leading manufacturer of pet care products, announced the acquisition of all outstanding shares of VCA Inc., a leading provider of pet health care services. The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately $9.1 billion including $1.4 billion in outstanding debt or about $93 per share.

In a joint statement, the companies said the transaction price represents a premium of about 41 percent over VCA’s 30-day volume weighted average price on Jan. 6, and a premium of approximately 31 percent over VCA’s closing price on Jan. 6. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals, and the companies expect the deal to close in the third quarter of 2017.

VCA will be a separate business unit within Mars Pet Care, and Bob Antin, founder and CEO of VCA will continue to lead the unit. Mars’ portfolio of veterinary products includes Banfield Pet Hospital, BluePearl and Pet Partners. VCA operates nearly 800 animal hospitals with 60 diagnostic laboratories throughout the United States and Canada.

“We are thrilled to welcome VCA to the Mars family and to our portfolio of brands and businesses around the world,” said Grant F. Reid, CEO of Mars. “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. We have great respect for VCA, with whom we share many common values and a strong commitment to pet care. Together, we will be able to provide even greater value, better service and higher quality care to pets and pet owners.”

Mars Pet Care already is a leading player in the pet nutrition category with brands such as Pedigree, Whiskas, Cesar and Sheba. VCA operates Antech Diagnostics, a clinical laboratory system; Sound, an animal diagnostic imaging company and Camp Bow Wow (CBW), a “doggy day camp” and overnight camp franchise.

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