UK Veterinary Takeover Deal Revived With Concessions

The largest remaining independent owner of veterinary practices in the United Kingdom is poised to be bought by a corporate consolidator after a compromise was struck with the country’s competition regulator.

Goddard Veterinary Group owns 47 practices, most of them in Greater London, including three speciality and emergency hospitals and 44 smaller clinics.

The family-owned business had agreed last year to be acquired by private-equity-backed consolidator VetPartners, which owns more than 550 practices in the U.K. The country’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) intervened, maintaining the deal would substantially lessen competition in 11 local geographic areas.In order to appease the regulator, VetPartners has offered to sell eight of its existing clinics to Linnaeus, which is the British unit of Mars Inc., the largest owner of veterinary practices in the world. 

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