FTSE 250 pet care business Pets at Home (LON:PETS) saw its share price sink by 1.14% to 414.60p (as of 11:15 GMT) after announcing the disposal of its Specialist referral vet practices. The consideration for the sale of the five practices to Linnaeus Group will be £80 million in cash with up to £20 million in future payments depending on performance.
CEO Peter Pritchard commented: “I am very pleased to have agreed the disposal of the Specialist Group to Linnaeus.
“Pets at Home is the UK’s leading pet care business, across our retail and veterinary operations. This disposal does not deviate from our core focus of providing customers with affordable, convenient, engaging and flexible pet care solutions through our growing online platform and estate of 440 First Opinion veterinary practices and 451 stores. We wish Bart and his team well over the coming years.
“The disposal represents a great outcome for all of our stakeholders. Linnaeus is a well-regarded operator of veterinary practices with a strong and established track record of practice management. We hold them in high regard, and they will be a great home for our highly-skilled colleagues in the Specialist Group, underpinned by an ongoing commitment to specialist multi-disciplinary veterinary care, supported by Mars. For our First Opinion Joint Venture Partners and Retail colleagues, the disposal allows realignment of financial and operational resource to support them in doing even more for our customers and their pets. For our shareholders, the disposal proceeds provide the Group with additional resource to accelerate growth across our customer-focused pet care platform.“