Pets at Home joint venture practices facing closure

Veterinary Nursing News

Pets at Home joint venture practices facing closure

Pets at Home has announced that following a review of its first opinion veterinary business, it now plans to buy back 55 of the practices it operates in joint venture partnerships with veterinary surgeons, of which 30 may close.

It is thought that the main reason for the cutbacks is a shortage of veterinary surgeons caused by Brexit, which is making it both harder and more expensive to recruit. 

The company has given an undertaking that the joint venture partners of the practices it offers to buy back will not be expected to repay outstanding borrowings to any parties and Pets at Home will settle any liabilities for third party bank loans and leases on behalf of the JVP.

Chief Executive Peter Pritchard said: "Since becoming the Group CEO in May, I have had the opportunity to take stock of the wider group and shape my view of our future.

"What I have found fills me with confidence. Pets at Home is a healthy business and customers are loving what we do; responding to our price repositioning, investment in digital and the amazing service delivered by our vet partners. We have the ability to offer almost everything a pet owner needs, giving us opportunities our competitors simply don't have. Which is why my vision is to develop a complete pet care company, uniting our retail and vet businesses.

"Reviewing our Vet Group has been a priority. I recognise we have grown at pace and more recently, have seen the pressure that rising costs and our fees are placing on this young business. We will need to recalibrate the business to deliver more measured growth, whilst maintaining our plan to generate significant cash profits.

"We are focused on maximising our unique assets and delivering a plan for sustainable cashflow and profit growth. Given the success of the changes we have made in Retail, I'm confident we can do this."

  • Part of me wonders if this is part of a bigger buy out plan......buy the practices back, then sell them to an already interested party ......???