National Veterinary Care shares surge 50% on $250m sale

National Veterinary Care shares surge 50% on $250m sale

Gold Coast-based National Veterinary Care (ASX: NVL) has entered into an agreement with VetPartners under which it will be acquired for around $250 million, a significant premium to its previous market capitalisation of $158 million.

Under the scheme implementation deed, announced this morning by NVL, VetPartners will acquire 100 per cent of the shares issued in NVL for $3.70 per share.

This is a significant premium to the share price at the close of trade on Friday the 13th December of $2.36 per share.

The scheme consideration implies a fully diluted market capitalisation for NVL of around $251.5 million and an enterprise value of approximately $325.5 million.

The directors of NVL have unanimously recommended shareholders vote in favour of this offer from VetPartners at an upcoming scheme meeting, which is expected to in March 2020.

Founder and managing director of NVL Tomas Steenackers (pictured) says the two groups are ideally aligned and a great match for one another.

"The coming together of National Veterinary Care and VetPartners is an exciting milestone for both relatively young, fast growing businesses," says Steenackers, winner of the Australian Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2018.

"They are aligned through a collective commitment to clinical excellence, and our clients will continue to enjoy high standards of care and a community feel from their local clinics."

"Both businesses also have a shared focus on employees, education and wellness and will be able to offer a wide range of exciting new professional development opportunities for our employees. Together, National Veterinary Care and VetPartners will continue to support and improve the broader veterinary industry across Australia and New Zealand, which has been a core philosophy of National Veterinary Care since it started in 2015."

The acquisition will bolster VetPartners already wide-reaching footprint.

The company, based in Sydney, is the owner-operator of more than 140 veterinary clinics in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Post-acquisition NVL's 103 veterinary services businesses will join VetParnters' businesses, bringing the merged total to more than 240 businesses under the one banner.

VetPartners CEO John Burns says there is significant synergy between the two vet operators.

"National Veterinary Care and VetPartners have a shared passion for creating a supportive network to enable veterinary professionals to focus on what they love - providing care for animals and their families," says Burns.

"Our combined management teams are excited about working together to build on the key strengths of each business to create one stronger community that values learning, individuality and excellence in patient care, and that strengthens the veterinary industry as a whole."

"We are thrilled to join with the team at National Veterinary Care, and look forward to maintaining the National Veterinary Care culture and legacy as part of this exciting next chapter for our two companies."

Shares in NVL are up 52.97 per cent to $3.61 per share at 10.18am AEDT.

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