Group sells off pet microchipping operation for £25m

Jenny Winter

Animal health business, Animalcare Group, has disposed of its majority stake in Identicare to BG Bidco 21, a newly incorporated company owned by funds managed by Bridgepoint Advisors II, for a cash consideration of £24.9m.

York-headquartered Animalcare says Identicare had been a “non-core asset” and the deal will allow the group to focus on growth in its pharmaceutical-based animal health market.

Identicare is a UK-based pet microchipping and pet owner-focused services company.

It was separated from the UK pharmaceuticals business within Animalcare Ltd in March 2021, with specialist leadership brought in.

Jenny Winter, Animalcare chief executive officer, said: “I’m very proud to see what we have achieved with Identicare in recent years.

“Today’s decision to crystallise the value from the sale is the logical next step, significantly strengthening our balance sheet and giving us additional financial flexibility and firepower as we concentrate on growing our pharmaceutical-focused animal health business.”

Upon receipt of the consideration and after fees associated with the transaction, the group’s net cash is expected to be around £27m.

As of 31 December 2023, Identicare had net liabilities of approximately £6.9m and for the 12 months to 31 December 2023, an EBITDA of about £1.7m and profit before tax of approximately £100,000.

Squire Patton Boggs advised Animalcare on the sale of Identicare. The advisory team was led by Hannah Kendrick, Harry Hobson, Halaina Tak and Bethan Oates.

Animalcare was also advised by FRP Corporate Finance’s London team, which was led by Mark Farlow, Ed Shurville-Darlington, and Olivia Norris.

Farlow, partner at FRP Corporate Finance in London, said: “This deal enables Animalcare to crystallise value on a non-core asset and will allow it to pursue its strategic priorities whilst propelling Identicare into a new phase of growth.

“This transaction is reflective of the broader trends in the market, as the boom in pet ownership during the pandemic has strengthened an already robust sector that is becoming increasingly appealing for private equity firms looking to invest.”

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