LUXEMBOURG — JAB Investors has reached an agreement with Ares Management Corp. under which JAB will acquire National Veterinary Associates (NVA) from the private equity group of Ares and a partner of Ares, OMERS Private Equity.
NVA is one of the largest veterinary and pet care organizations in the world. Greg Hartmann, the company’s chief executive officer, will maintain a significant minority ownership of the business and will continue to run the operation.
Established 22 years ago, NVA offers a wide range of veterinary services in more than 670 companion animal veterinary hospitals and 70 pet resorts across 43 states in the United States, as well as in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. NVA has 2,600 veterinarians and a total of 14,000 employees.
Both arms of JAB Investors will participate in the acquisition, including JAB Consumer Fund, which will invest most of the equity capital in the NVA deal, and JAB Holding Co., which will invest alongside the consumer fund. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“NVA is a world-class organization led by one of the best teams in the industry,” said David Bell, partner at JAB Investors. “The company’s core strategic objective to support and invest in veterinarians and animal care teams, combined with its high-performance culture, has created an ecosystem that attracts exceptional people to provide the very highest level of veterinary care. We are excited to partner with the NVA community for the long-term as they continue building a global platform and leading the industry in innovation and quality of service.”
JAB Investors has invested heavily in the food and beverage industries in recent years and has controlling stakes in Keurig Dr Pepper, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Panera Bread, Pret A Manger, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee Co., Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc., Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Espresso House.
JAB’s move into the veterinary field parallels investments a number of large food companies have made in the pet food market over the last several years, including General Mills and The J.M. Smucker Company. Instead of investing in pet food, though, JAB has acquired pet care businesses.
In February, the company acquired Compassion First Pet Hospitals for $1.2 billion. Compassion First operates specialty, emergency and general practice veterinary hospitals across the United States.
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