The Vet Connection has been sold to Pets at Home
The Vet Connection (TVC) is the largest independent veterinary telehealth provider in the UK, providing convenient and cost-effective access to on-demand, high quality, round-the-clock veterinary telehealth advice, triage and ancillary services to a wide range of customers and their pets via remote phone, web chat and video consultations. Founded in 2002, TVC conducts more than 90,000 consults per annum and has an established track record of more than one million consults to date. The company uses its proprietary clinical protocols, developed over nearly two decades, in all consults to maintain the quality and consistency of the advice it provides.
Operating predominantly through business-to-business relationships, TVC partners with major pet insurers, veterinary practices, retailers, charities and animal pharmaceutical companies in the UK and overseas to provide telehealth services for their respective end customers via a white-label service offering. The company has also developed a subscription-based direct-to-consumer service, PetGP, which has seen an increase in demand in the wake of COVID-19.
Lincoln acted as the exclusive financial adviser to The Vet Connection and its owner and ran a competitive auction process with participation by both trade parties and financial sponsors. On 30 November 2020, Pets At Home Group PLC, the UK’s leading pet care businesses and a constituent of the FTSE 250 index, announced the acquisition for a cash consideration of £15 million. In the year to April 2020, TVC achieved an adjusted EBITDA of £0.7 million.
Jamie Moodie, CEO of The Vet Connection, commented, “I am delighted that I appointed the Lincoln team and would highly recommend them to anyone that wants a differentiated financial advisor. Not only were they able to access a wider pool of buyers, which led to a great exit, but the introductions they made allowed the business to accelerate [its] strategic plans.”
Matthew Lee, Managing Director at Lincoln International, added, “We are delighted to have advised Jamie Moodie and The Vet Connection on the sale of the company to Pets at Home. This was an exciting mandate to secure at a time when TVC’s relevance couldn’t be higher. During the process we were able to leverage our deep sector knowledge and relationships to position the business optimally while unlocking doors for TVC to new global clients, supporting and enhancing the growth story.”
Matthew continued, “COVID-19 has demonstrated a growing need for telehealth offerings, whether direct-to-consumer or in support of insurance or other business-to-business pet channel partners. Telehealth’s role in providing pet owners with flexible on-demand access to veterinary care and advice, alongside traditional physical practice, is clear and is only going to accelerate from here. Pets at Home recognized this trend and saw the synergies from bringing TVC into their pet care ecosystem, to create their own in-house platform and enhance both their retail and veterinary offerings. We look forward to seeing TVC go from strength to strength under Pets at Home’s ownership, which we have no doubt will enable it to achieve its full potential.”
The Lincoln team had all the qualities that one would expect: tenacity, energy and deep sector knowledge, combined with a personable and professional approach. What stood out for me was the sheer extent of their relationships and contacts within the industry.
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