Mars, M&M’s Maker, To Acquire VCA’s Animal Hospitals For $7.7 Billion


The candy company that makes snacks such as Snickers, M&M’s, Skittles, Milky Way, Dove chocolate and Wrigley’s gum among others has offered to buy VCA, an animal hospital chain, for $7.7 billion – the Los Angeles Times reports. Mars is the name of the candy maker.

VCA operates a chain of animal hospitals and diagnostic labs and is the leading maker of pet foods such Sheba, Pedigree and Whiskas among others. It is the owner of Banfield Pet Hospitals and PetSmart retail stores among other businesses.

VCA has 23,000 employees with 1,400 of these working in its Los Angeles offices. The company has about 800 hospitals for animals and 60 diagnostic labs for animals. It hit a revenue of $2.1 billion in 2015.



Mars

Mars on the other makes an average of $35 billion every year in sales, and will operate VCA under its own name even though it will have become a part of Mars. Co-founders brothers Arthur Antin and Robert Antin will remain in the company after Mars acquires it.



The company believes the acquisition would be better for both shareholders and employees alike. While it is not clear whether some employees will be retrenched after the acquisition, VCA informed staffs that the purchase will provide employees with “enhanced career-development opportunities” while seniority and tenure of employees will be maintained after Mars closes the deal.

VCA had been able to expand its business by integrating animal diagnostic labs, animal hospitals and professional vets into its network chain; and it did buy a dog daycare business nearly three years ago. A few of these centers such as its hospital in West Los Angeles provides “24-hour emergency care, a team of surgeons, a cancer center, surgical suites and a physical therapy center.”

CEO of Mars, Grant Reid, revealed that his company is glad to want to buy VCA since the latter blazes the trail in the pet healthcare industry, and that the proposed purchase will benefit pets, pet owners and vet doctors as well as pet care providers across board.

A business analyst with Raymond James & Associates, Nicholas Jansen, stated that “We simply believe Mars…found VCA to be an attractive long-term asset, and we would expect the two businesses to complement one another quite nicely.”


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