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Nestlé Purina enters veterinary services market

The food manufacturer acquires a piece of the European chain IVC Group.

Nestlé Purina enters veterinary services market
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Nestlé Purina PetCare has acquired a minority stake in a European veterinary hospital chain, becoming the second major U.S. pet food maker to enter the clinic space.

The size of Nestlé Purina’s share in Independent Vetcare Group International and what the company paid were not announced. The seller, the private equity group EQT, remains the majority owner.

Independent Vetcare Group International, or IVC Group, operates 1,123 clinics across 10 countries, including Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Scotland and Sweden. The Bristol, England-based chain employs more than 16,000 veterinarians and veterinary nurses.

“For Nestlé Purina, this is a further step in building an ecosystem with partners and experts who help promote pet health and pet well-being,” the company reported. “This move will also help broaden Nestlé Purina’s expertise in the area of premium pet care solutions.

“IVC Group will be able to leverage the expertise of Nestlé Purina as a leading expert in pet health, pet nutrition and scientific innovation. IVC Group will also gain access to Nestlé Purina’s unique product offering to support their leading-edge veterinary care.”

The deal is expected to close by late June pending regulatory approval.

A Nestlé Purina competitor, Mars Inc., is a large U.S. hospital owner through its control of Banfield, VCA and BluePearl Veterinary Partners. In 2018, Mars purchased 200 AniCura veterinary clinics across Europe and the U.K.-based Linnaeus hospital network.

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