Parklands Veterinary Group has become the first Northern Ireland practice to join veterinary services group VetPartners.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nParklands is a mixed practice with sites in Cookstown, Dungannon, Coalisland, Aughnacloy and Portglenone in Mid-Ulster. This new acquisition marks the group\u2019s preparation for its further expansion across Europe.\r\n\r\nVetPartners now has 107 small animal, mixed, equine and farm practices, with 4,600 employees working in nearly 400 sites and from its headquarters in York.\r\n\r\nParklands current directors, Jim Slaine, Ian Stewart, John Grant, Andrew Turkington, Craig McAlister, Eamon Donnelly and Philip Abernethy, have a combined 175 years working at the practice.\r\n\r\nAll seven directors will remain at Parklands and clients will see little change in the day-to-day running of the practice. They see the move as the platform for the next step in the growth of the practice and believe joining a larger veterinary group will enable the practice to evolve at a faster rate.\r\n\r\nTurkington said: \u201cThe veterinary world is changing fast and by joining VetPartners, Parklands Veterinary Group is in a much stronger position to continue to deliver high quality and competitive services and products throughout Northern and Southern Ireland. By combining resources with other leading practices within the VetPartners group, we aim to bring consistency and excellence within the business.\r\n\r\n\u201cParklands directors believe that VetPartners is the veterinary group of choice that will provide a secure and supportive home for all its employees and continue to develop excellence for its clients. With the help and resources of VetPartners, Parklands will continue to grow and evolve throughout Ireland.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe added: \u201cWe welcome other practices from Northern and Southern Ireland to join us and develop a truly staff and client focused enterprise through providing excellence in the provision of animal health. VetPartners is a progressive company, which only allows quality practices to join the group.\u201d\r\n\r\nParklands has a specialist approach to all species, covering small animals, dairy, suckler, sheep, intensive pig and poultry and specialist breeding service.\r\n\r\nTo support its growth, VetPartners last year secured the support of leading international investment company, BC Partners, which has Euros 17bn of assets under management in private equity and credit across the globe.\r\n\r\nThe group plans to expand across Europe this year and will introduce itself to the French veterinary profession when a delegation, including CEO Jo Malone, attends France Vet at Porte De Versailles exhibition centre in Paris on June 14 and 15.\r\n\r\nVetPartners CEO Jo Malone said: \u201cWe are delighted to welcome Parklands Veterinary Group to VetPartners as they perfectly sum up the kind of quality practices we want to attract. \u201cThis is our first venture into Northern Ireland and we anticipate it won\u2019t be the last. We now have some of the best veterinary businesses across small animal, equine, mixed and farm, and the next 12 months will see further growth in each of our species groups, both in the UK and Europe.\r\n\r\n\u201cAfter building up a strong base of small animal practices, we are committed to growing our mixed, farm and equine groups, which will bring benefits of scale, local support for our teams and access to a wide range of excellent specialist services.\u201d\r\n\r\nPinsent Masons LLP and David Lyttle and Co Ltd advised Parklands Veterinary Group. VetPartners were advised by Mills and Reeve LLP and Hazlewoods LLP.