VitalPet, a network of 24 veterinary hospitals in seven states, has secured $5.5 million in financing as the company tries to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The Texas-based company was pushed into involuntary bankruptcy in October 2019 on claims by three veterinarian partners that they held promissory notes totaling $1.37 million. The petitioners and the amounts sought are:
- Warren Resell, DVM, medical director at Atascocita Animal Hospital in Humble, Texas, $610,000.
- James H. Kelly, DVM, formerly of Kings Crossing Animal Hospital in Kingwood, Texas, $535,000.
- Larry D. Wood, DVM, medical director at Northwood Animal Hospital in San Antonio, $225,000.
VitalPet, founded in 2009, purchases existing veterinary hospitals either outright, as a partial owner or in a joint venture, according to its website. In August, the retail chain Petco identified VitalPet as a regional veterinary partner that would help open full-service clinics in Petco stores nationwide.
The extent of VitalPet’s financial plight and the reasons for it were not revealed.
“I am pleased with this important initial step in the bankruptcy process,” chief restructuring officer Douglas J. Brickley said of the $5.5 million in emergency funding, which came from VP Senior LLC. “We are in a position now to continue enabling our doctor network to provide the high quality of care for which VitalPet is known.”
Additional funding is being sought.
“We will explore securing final DIP [debtor-in-possession] financing in the amount of up to $16 million while I continue to work with my advisers to develop a strategy for exiting Chapter 11,” Brickley said. “The debtors intend to work with our stakeholders to develop a plan of reorganization.”
A court hearing is set for Jan. 23, 2020, in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston.
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