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Mars is buying AniCura
Posted on Monday, 11 June 2018 12:20
Mars, though its Mars Petcare subsidiary, has reached its second announced acquisition of the month so far as the company agrees to pick up European veterinary operator AniCura in a bid to further expand its pet care business.

The private firm, mainly known for its chocolate and candy, has been seeing growth in the industry and decided to strike while the iron is hot.

Mars is purchasing AniCura for an undisclosed amount, according to the press releases; however, a person familiar with the transaction spoke with the Wall Street Journal and said such a deal values the target at EUR 2.00 billion, including debt.

Additionally, Reuters cited a source that suggested the company was worth between EUR 1.00 billion and EUR 2.00 billion, while the Financial Times also put the European pet care business at closer to EUR 2.00 billion.

AniCura, founded in 2011 by Fidelio Capital and the Animal Hospital Foundation in Greater Stockholm, has over 4,000 veterinary employees across 200 animal hospitals and clinics across seven countries.

Based in Sweden, the business, currently controlled by private equity firm Nordic Capital, expects that through the deal it will gain improved opportunities to continue developing advanced animal care and medical quality.

The transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals.

News comes just a week after Mars agreed to pick up UK-based veterinary services provider Linnaeus Group for an undisclosed amount as the company looks to capitalise on increased spending in the pet industry.

The buyer, which is behind brands such as Celebrations, Galaxy, M&Ms and Maltesers, paid USD 9.10 billion for California-based small animal veterinary hospitals operator VCA in September last year.

In fact, a large portion of Mars’ most recent acquisitions were to expand its pet products business, including the purchase of Procter & Gamble’s pet food operations in North and South America for USD 2.90 billion in 2014.

According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, there have been 84 deals targeting either veterinary services or the animal food manufacturing market announced globally since the start of 2018.

The largest of these by far was the USD 8.00 billion paid for US-based Blue Buffalo Pet Products by General Mills in April.

Ainsworth Pet Nutrition and Community Veterinary Clinics, among others, were also targeted this year.

© Zephus Ltd