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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.