Australian Veterinary Owners League to acquire National Veterinary Care for $251.5m

Australian Veterinary Owners League VetPartners National Veterinary Care ASX NVL
Australian Veterinary Owners League Pty Ltd is proposing to acquire National Veterinary Care for $251.5 million.

Private entity Australian Veterinary Owners League Pty Ltd (VetPartners) is set to acquire 100% of National Veterinary Care (ASX: NVL) via a scheme implementation deed that values National Veterinary care at $3.70 per share or $251.5 million.

Including National Veterinary Care’s net debt of $74 million, the offer gives the takeover target an enterprise value of $325.5 million.

VetPartners’ all cash offer will see National Veterinary Care holders receive $3.70 per share, which is a 56.8% premium on its last closing price of $2.36 per share on 13 December 2019.

Based on National Veterinary Care’s one-month volume weighted average price of $2.32, VetPartner’s offer represents a 59.5% premium.

National Veterinary Care gives takeover green light

National Veterinary Care operates 103 veterinary businesses in Australia and New Zealand with the goal of expanding its clinic network through acquisitions and organic growth.

As part of this strategy, National Veterinary Care’s board has unanimously recommended the takeover in the absence of a superior proposal.

“VetPartners’ proposal represents a significant premium to National Veterinary Care’s current share price, is 100% cash consideration and offers National Veterinary Care shareholders a high degree of certainty,” National Veterinary Care chairperson Susan Forrester said.

“We believe the proposal is consistent with the board’s efforts to maximise shareholder value,” she added.

VetPartners’ strategy

Operating more than 140 veterinary clinics across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, VetPartners noted that its shares a “passion” with National Veterinary Care for creating a supportive network enabling professionals in the industry to focus on providing care for animals and their families.

“Our combined management teams are excited about working together to build on the key strengths of each business to create one stronger community that values learning, individuality and excellence in patient care, and that strengthens the veterinary industry as a whole,” VetPartners chief executive officer John Burns said.

National Veterinary Care’s managing director Tomas Steenackers agreed claiming the companies are aligned through their commitment to “clinical excellence”, employees, education and wellness.

“Together, National Veterinary Care and VetPartners will continue to support and improve the broader veterinary industry across Australia and New Zealand, which has been a core philosophy of National Veterinary Care since it started in 2015.

Subject to an independent expert recommending the takeover, and securing shareholder and regulatory approvals, the duo anticipates the deal will be completed by April next year.

The takeover news spurred National Veterinary Care’s share price up more than 53% to trade at $3.615 by late afternoon.

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