Pets at Home. the specialist veterinary business has been sold to rival Linnaeus Group, the US Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) for £955m in a deal that hands its top directors, and co-investors, and founders ROI.
The five sites being sold to Linnaeus which is part of Mars Petcare are Dick White Referrals in Cambridgeshire, Anderson Moores in Hampshire, Northwest Veterinary Specialists, and Eye Vet in Cheshire, and Veterinary Specialists in Livingston, Scotland.
The deal will see Pets At Home receive £80 million in cash on competition- expected early next year – and a further £20 million if certain financial targets are achieved.
“This disposal does not deviate from our core focus of providing customers with affordable convenient, engaging and flexible pet care solutions through our growing online platform,” Peter Pritchard, Pets at Home CEO said.
Pets At Home already has 440 First Opinion veterinary practices, which tend to be found inside stores, which also offer more services inside its warehouse-style stores, with services including grooming parlours, while online services include dog walking and cat sitting bookings. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it had video appointment vet business The Vet Connection as more pet owners turn to online services to follow social distancing.
“Linnaeus is a good well-regarded operator of veterinary practices with a strong and established track record of practice management. WE hold them in high regard, and they will be a great home for our highly-skilled colleagues in the specialist group, underpinned by an ongoing commitment to specialist multi-disciplinary veterinary care supported by Mars” according to Pritchard.