Veterinary firm snaps up more clinics
National Veterinary Care is showing no signs of putting the brakes on new acquisitions even as shareholders prepare to vote on a takeover by US-owned VetPartners.
The company this morning said it has entered into agreements to buy three more Australian clinics, taking its total number to 107.
The share price, which soared to $3.60 in the wake of the VetPartners offer, was steady in early trade, up 1¢ to $3.67.
NVL announced the VetPartners offer in December with shareholders to receive $3.70 cash per share valuing the company at close to $250 million.
The NVL board unanimously recommended shareholders accept the offer, which is due to clear its first court hurdle this week.
Managing director Tomas Steenackers said once court approval is obtained, NVL can send shareholders the scheme booklet ahead of a vote between mid-and-late March.
Today's announcement says settlement of the three new clinics is due to take place in mid March. The deals are subject to due diligence.
The clinics, including settlement of an acquisition in New Zealand and the planned buyout the remaining interest in a Melbourne clinic where NVL has a minority interest, are expected to add $7.15 million in annual revenue and pretax earnings of $2.06 million.
Total consideration for the acquisitions (including the Melbourne clinic) is $11.26 million.
Sydney-based VetPartners, which is owned by 700-clinic giant National Veterinary Associates, based in California, first approached NVL in late September with a non-binding offer.
VetPartners CEO John Burns previously told the Bulletin there was no plan to move the NVL headquarters from Ormeau to Sydney.
Mr Steenackers was one of a number of former Greencross heavyweights who started NVL after seeing an opportunity to offer improved services to pet owners looking for the best healthcare for their "fur babies".
The company expanded each year, recording a 43.6 per cent increase in revenue for FY19. NVL has about 1200 staff across New Zealand and Australia with 25 based in its support office in Ormeau.