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Monday, January 16, 2017

Mars Petcare To Acquire VCA Animal Hospitals

Mars Petcare has announced plans to acquire VCA.
 dadoodas - Fotolia.com
While you and I have been scarfing down M&Ms and Skittles, Mars Incorporated has been indulging its own appetite, but not for chocolate.

Best known as the maker of M&Ms, Skittles and other candy brands, the company recently announced it will acquire VCA, Inc. (Veterinary Centers of America) for $93 a share, or about $9.1 billion, including $1.4 billion in debt.

VCA owns nearly 800 vet clinics and veterinary specialty hospitals, along with ANTECH Diagnostics; the veterinary imaging company, Sound Technologies; and Camp Bow Wow, a dog daycare and boarding franchise.

Sweet On Cats

While we may think of Mars as the maker of candy that melts in your mouth not in your hand, the company has been sweet on companion animals for more than 80 years.

Its cat food brands include Sheba, Whiskas, Iams, Eukanuba, Royal Canin and Temptations cat treats.

It also owns Banfield Pet Hospitals, Pet Partners and BluePearl, a chain of emergency and specialty animal hospitals. Mars' Wisdom Panel provides animal DNA testing, and the company owns Whistle, which makes GPS trackers for dogs and cats. 

The prestigious Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition is also part of Mars Petcare's portfolio of businesses. 

VCA will continue to operate as its own business within Mars Petcare, a press release says. The sale is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.

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