STATES CHRONICLE – Mars, Incorporated, the giant candy maker, has announced its intention of acquiring VCA, the pet hospital care chain.
Mars is a global manufacturer company. It was founded in 1911 and is based in McClean, Virginia. It is specialized in confectionery, other food products, and pet food. Its most famous products include Mars, Milky Way, M&Ms, Snickers, and Skittles. They are also the producers of Orbit, Winterfresh, and Spearmint. Their pet food sector produces several brands. Pedigree and Whiskas are amongst them.
Now, the company will be expanding its pet services. Earlier this week, Mars Inc. announced that it intends to acquire VCA. The announcement was released on January 09. The company made a purchase offer worth $9.1 billion.
VCA, Inc. or the Veterinary Centres of America is a veterinary medicine company. It is based in Los Angeles, California. VCA Inc. operates the VCA Animal Hospitals. These are spread throughout the United States and Canada. The company is said to operate over 700 animal hospitals and care centers.
The pet care sector is considered as being a booming industry. With the acquisition, Mars Inc. could be expanding its outreach in the area. On Monday, the company stated that it intends to buy VCA for around $7.7 billion. Said value will not be including debts.
This would translate into a $93 value share. It would mark a 30 percent increase when compared to the current closing price. On Friday, the pet hospital chain had a $70.77 per share value.
An acquisition would most likely propel Mars’s position in the sector. It could make it a dominant force in the pet care domain. It may also help increase current company pet-targeting areas. Mars is the producer of brand pet food products.
A total sales value could come to about $9.1 billion. This would also include company debt. VCA has an outstanding debt of about $1.4 billion. Following the sales announcement, VCA shares marked an increase. On Monday, company shares rose by 29 percent. As such, they reached a $91.03 value.
Mars Inc. would be advantaged by the acquisition. It would mark their deeper integration in the area. Besides its pet food sector, the company also offers other animal services.
It has already established a Mars Petcare division. This latter already includes the former Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc. producer. It has also acquired various Procter & Gamble Co. pet-food brands.
Mars also operates several other pet care centers. It is the owner of BluePearl Veterinary Partners and the Banfield Pet Hospital.
The American pet care and products industry has marked an increase. In recent years, residents have been investing more in the care and food of their pets. This trend is believed to have been influenced by the “humanization” of pets.
VCA is considered as quite a pioneer in the animal care field. The company has expanded by buying other veterinary hospitals. Its acquisition of hundreds of such services has fueled its growth. As such, it now operates and manages about 800 hospitals.
Grant Reid, the Mars CEO, went to offer a statement. According to him, the company considers VCA a tremendous opportunity. The latter is considered a leader in pet healthcare services. The CEO considers that the acquisition will come to advantage both companies. Pets, pet owners, veterinarians and other such health care authorities may also be advantaged.
Mars expects the VCA acquisition to close sometime in this year’s third quarter. It will mark a further diversification of its services. Such a variety may be especially needed as the human packaged-food sector was seen to stagnate.
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