Ontario Teachers’ Pension Buys Chain of Animal Hospitals for $440 Million


The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has bought PetVet, a chain of veterinary practices, from private equity firm Catterton.

The deal was worth $440 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More details from the WSJ:

The sale is the latest in a string of transactions in the pet-care and pet-products market, where increased consumer spending has paved the way for premium deal prices.

Betting that there is still growth ahead for PetVet, a Westport, Conn., business first backed by Catterton in 2012, the firm is rolling $40 million of the proceeds from the sale into the transaction alongside OTPP, according to the memorandum.

Similar to a physician or dental network, PetVet’s business model focuses on buying veterinary practices and then providing back-office services such as payroll, marketing, accounting and human resources.

The $440 million price tag translates into roughly 11 times PetVet’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a hefty multiple even by 2014’s standards and an indication of the value investors see in the pet market.


PetSmart, PetVet and National Veterinary Associates have been the beneficiaries of a sharp increase in the amount of money spent on pets in the U.S., a figure which has tripled in the past two decades, increasing annually even through the global economic downturn.

In 2014, Americans spent an estimated $58.51 billion on their pets, with more than a quarter of that cost going toward veterinary services, according to the American Pet Products Association, a trade group.

Spending on vet care increased roughly 6% to $15.25 billion in 2014 from $14.37 billion a year earlier, according to the association’s estimates.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan manages $140 billion in assets.


Photo credit: “Canada blank map” by Lokal_Profil image cut to remove USA by Paul Robinson – Vector map BlankMap-USA-states-Canada-provinces.svg.Modified by Lokal_Profil. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Canada_blank_map.svg#mediaviewer/File:Canada_blank_map.svg

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