Acquisition creates UK’s largest independent veterinary practice
A South Yorkshire veterinary practice is celebrating a UK first after completing a major acquisition deal.
The Pet Vet, which has surgeries in Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster, has acquired The Vet, registered as Quality Pet Care Ltd.
The purchase of all eight of The Vet-branded surgeries makes The Pet Vet not only one of the largest independent family-owned practices by number of sites – 12 – in the UK, but also the first to have a national presence.
The newly acquired surgeries are in Warrington, Portsmouth, Southampton, Bristol, Nottingham, Liverpool and Morden and Waltham Forest in London.
The Pet Vet already operates three large, purpose-built surgeries in South Yorkshire and in 2021 opened a 5,500 sq ft surgery on a retail park in Lincoln.
Founded in Doncaster in 2011, The Pet Vet is under the sole ownership of Dr Rob Jones, who graduated in veterinary science from Bristol University in 1987.
He practised in companion animal care in London and Australia before opening the first The Pet Vet surgery.
With almost 100 employees, including 24 full time vets, the practice has an annual turnover of more than £6m.
Earlier this year, it secured £3.1m from alternative lender ThinCats to fund an ambitious growth plan. A rapid extra cash injection then allowed the family-owned independent to snap up The Vet when it came up for sale in April 2022.
The Vet was initially acquired by CVS Group plc, the AIM quoted and third largest veterinary group in the UK, in August 2021.
Dr Mel Fuller, MD at The Pet Vet, said: “Our commitment to continual reinvestment of profits in the development of our teams, our services and in new technology, makes our surgeries fulfilling places to work, that offer the highest quality veterinary services to our customers.
“In South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire we have developed centres of excellence for orthopaedic and soft tissue surgery, imaging and dentistry, removing the need for external referral and enabling us to offer our services to other practices within our regions.
“The acquisition of The Vet gives us scope to further expand our expertise and services, offer even greater career progression for our vets, enhance our buying power and increase our influence on the overall quality of first opinion veterinary care in the UK.”
Rob Jones, chairman at The Pet Vet, said: “With nearly 70% of the veterinary practice market by revenue already in the ownership of major corporations, a fact of which most consumers are still completely unaware, this is a real opportunity for us as a South Yorkshire-based family business to make a positive difference for pet owners across the UK.
“Our acquisition will allow us to further advance in-house provision, giving our vets more variety and stimulation in their working day and even greater opportunities for professional development.”
The Corporate team at Blacks Solicitors advised The Pet Vet on the completion of the purchase.
Alex Hall, associate legal executive at Blacks Solicitors, led the Corporate team which supported The Pet Vet. He said: “Having the opportunity to contribute to The Pet Vet’s significant growth plans and future is extremely rewarding.
“It’s an exciting time for the third largest veterinary chain in the UK and we’re looking forward to working with the business on future projects. We wish the team every success in their new venture.”