Private investment firm KKR & Co. (NYSE: KKR) has agreed to acquire PetVet Care Centers LLC for an undisclosed amount. PetVet was previously owned by L Catterton, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and other minority owners.
PetVet operates general practice and veterinary hospitals for companion animals. The target, headquartered in Westport, Connecticut, offers a variety of veterinary services including preventative and primary care to emergency critical care and surgeries. PetVet works with specialists and general veterinarians through a network of 125 locally-branded hospitals across 22 states.
KKR is a New York-based private equity firm that manages a variety of investments such as energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit strategies and hedge funds. Earlier in December, the firm added industrial tools maker Hyperion to its portfolio. Jefferies LLC is acting as financial advisor to PetVet, while Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP is serving as legal advisor. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal counsel to KKR, while Jefferies and KKR Capital Markets have committed to providing debt financing for the transaction.
“We are excited to partner with PetVet and its affiliated veterinarians to accelerate the company’s track record of organic and acquisitive growth," states KKR representative Max Lin.
Established in 2016, L Catterton came to form through the combination of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE’s private equity group L Capital and its real estate investment unit with consumer-focused private equity firm Catterton. The consumer-focused private equity firm has managed more than $14 billion in equity capital across six fund strategies. The firm is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Dealmakers expect the wave of pet-related M&A to continue, as consumers favor pet products that reflect the same standards used for people. Mars Inc. agreed to buy animal hospital chain VCA; Tractor Supply Co. (Nasdaq: TSCO) purchased pet food maker Petsense LLC; In 2015, pet brands Worldwise and Quaker Pet Group merged to acquire more.