Mars Petcare acquires veterinary group Linnaeus

Mars Petcare has announced that it has acquired UK veterinary group Linnaeus from private equity firm Sovereign Capital Partners.

On completion of the transaction, Linnaeus will become a unit within Mars Petcare’s Veterinary Health Group.

Linnaeus was founded in 2014 on the Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service following its acquisition by Sovereign Capital Partners.

Mars Petcare employs approximately 50,000 veterinary professionals and cares for more than 10 million pets annually across VCA, Banfield Pet Hospital, Bluepearl and Pet Partners.

Alejandro Bernal, vice president, Veterinary Health Group, Mars Petcare, said: “Pet care has been an important part of Mars for over 80 years and Mars has a large and growing veterinary practice in the US. This strategic acquisition reaffirms our commitment both to the pet care industry and veterinary profession.

“Alongside our other veterinary businesses, Linnaeus will enable Mars Petcare to provide pets with even greater access to high-quality veterinary care. Its reputation as a leading partnership of highly-respected veterinary practices and professionals means that it is well placed to meet the increasing demand in the UK and help drive our purpose, to create a better world for pets.”

Linnaeus has five multidisciplinary referral centers, complemented by a practice portfolio of 82 sites which are strategically located in key urban areas across the UK. The business employs more diplomats from the European College of Veterinary Surgeons than any other veterinary group in the UK.

Lynne Hill, chief executive officer of Linnaeus and former president of the RCVS, said: “Linnaeus has seen significant growth, and we are making strong progress in building a true specialist veterinary offering in the UK with continued investment into high-quality staff.

“Joining Mars Petcare will enable us to provide pets with even greater high-quality veterinary care, from wellness and prevention, through primary, emergency and specialty care.”

On completion of the deal, Linnaeus’s existing management will continue to lead the business. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. JP Morgan Securities acted as financial adviser and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer acted as legal counsel to Mars.

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