VCA hospitals now under Mars ownership

VCA will be run independently under co-founder Bob Antin.

VCA hospitals now under Mars ownership
California is home to about 140 VCA hospitals, including Valley Oak Animal Hospital in Chico.

Mars Inc. has completed its $9.1 billion acquisition of VCA Inc., which operates more than 800 veterinary hospitals across the United States and Canada.

VCA co-founder and CEO Bob Antin, MBA, will continue to oversee the hospitals and a network of reference laboratories, Mars announced Sept. 12.

The transaction, set at $93 per share, was first reported Jan. 9 but required government approval. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission signed off on the deal in August after winning Mars’ agreement to divest 12 VCA or BluePearl veterinary hospitals in 10 U.S. cities. Mars also owns the 1,000-hospital Banfield network and the smaller BluePearl Veterinary Partners specialty chain.

The sell-off to National Veterinary Associates, PetVet Care Centers and Pathway Partners Vet Management Co. helps ensures competitive balance, the government reported.

Mars, which started as a food company in 1911, added more than 25,000 VCA employees to the corporate family. Los Angeles-based VCA will operate as a separate business unit, Mars stated.

“This is a great day for all of us as we take a significant step forward in providing quality care and health services for thousands of more pets,” said Poul Weihrauch, MBA, president of Mars Global Petcare. “VCA’s partnerships with veterinarians and pet care providers, as well as their breadth and expertise in veterinary services, diagnostics and technology, will position all of us to deliver more comprehensive care and continue on our journey supporting our purpose: a better world for pets.”

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