Pets at Home has sold its five specialist referral practices to Linnaeus Group for £100m, it announced today.
The Cheshire-headquartered retailer said the disposal was part of its “continued focus of group resources on customer-facing activities across our omnichannel retailing and First Opinion veterinary operation”.
It comes after the retailer announced yesterday it had acquired independent veterinary telehealth provider The Vet Connection in a £15m deal.
Pets at Home chief executive Peter Pritchard said: “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 and estate of 440 First Opinion veterinary practices and 451 stores.”
The Specialist Group comprises the assets and operations of Dick White Referrals in Cambridgeshire, Anderson Moores in Hampshire, Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Cheshire, Eye Vet in Cheshire and Veterinary Specialists Scotland in Livingston, Scotland.
Mr Pritchard said the disposal represents “a great outcome for all of our stakeholders”.
“Linnaeus is a 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.
“For our First Opinion Joint Venture Partners and Retail colleagues, the disposal allows realignment of financial and operational resource to support them in doing even more for our customers and their pets.
“For our shareholders, the disposal proceeds provide the group with additional resource to accelerate growth across our customer-focused pet care platform.”
Linnaeus Group, a subsidiary of Mars Veterinary Health, is a veterinary group operating over 150 veterinary clinics across the UK, including primary care and referral practices.
Linnaeus chief executive Bart Johnson said: “We are delighted to welcome our new colleagues and these fantastic and highly-respected referral practices into the Linnaeus family and to grow our offering further, taking another step towards making an even better world for pets”.