Pets At Home has sold its specialist veterinary business for £100 million to rival Linnaeus Group, the company has revealed.
Bosses said the deal will allow Pets At Home to focus on customer-facing activities across their stores and services through their First Opinion vet services.
The five sites being sold to Linnaeus, which is part of Mars Petcare, are:
– Dick White Referrals in Cambridgeshire;
– Anderson Moores in Hampshire;
– Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Cheshire;
– Eye Vet in Cheshire;
– Veterinary Specialists Scotland in Livingston, Scotland.
The deal will see Pets At Home receive £80 million in cash on competition – expected early next year – and a further £20 million if certain financial targets are hit.
Peter Pritchard, chief executive of Pets At Home said: “This disposal does not deviate from our core focus of providing customers with affordable, convenient, engaging and flexible pet care solutions through our growing online platform.”
He also pointed out that Pets At Home already has 440 First Opinion veterinary practices, which tend to be found inside stores.
Pets At Home has been pushing to offer more services inside its warehouse-style stores, with services including grooming parlours, while online services include dog walking and cat sitting bookings.
The move comes a day after the company revealed it had bought telephone and video appointment vets business The Vet Connection (TVC), as more pet owners turn to online services during the Covid-19 pandemic,
He added: “Linnaeus is a well-regarded operator of veterinary practices with a strong and established track record of practice management.
“We hold them in high regard, and they will be a great home for our highly-skilled colleagues in the specialist group, underpinned by an ongoing commitment to specialist multi-disciplinary veterinary care, supported by Mars.”