Mars to buy pet hos­pi­tal net­work for $7.7 bil­lion

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT -

MARS is buy­ing pet hos­pi­tal op­er­a­tor VCA for $7.7 bil­lion (R105bn) in a deal that will tighten the Whiskas and Pedi­gree pet food maker’s grip on the pet care mar­ket.

The deal will help pri­vately held Mars, bet­ter known for can­dies such as M&Ms and Snick­ers, add about 800 pet hos­pi­tals to its net­work of more than 900 clin­ics, which in­cludes the 61-year-old Ban­field pet hos­pi­tal chain.

The com­bi­na­tion of Mars Pet­care and VCA will dom­i­nate the vet­eri­nary care in­dus­try in the US, grab­bing an even big­ger share of the nearly $4bn global pet care mar­ket.

Vir­ginia-based Mars is al­ready the big­gest pet food com­pany in the world – it held a quar­ter of the global pet food mar­ket as of 2015 – fol­lowed by Nestlé, the maker of the Pu­rina cat and dog food brand.

Mars has been di­ver­si­fy­ing its busi­ness as calo­rie-con­scious con­sumers in­creas­ingly shun chocolates and can­dies, a trend that has weighed on the $183bn global con­fec­tionery mar­ket.

Mars said it would of­fer $93 per share, a pre­mium of 31.4 per­cent to VCA’s Fri­day clos­ing price.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.