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Pets at Home Grp (PETS)

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Tuesday 01 December, 2020

Pets at Home Grp

Disposal

RNS Number : 0205H
Pets At Home Group Plc
01 December 2020
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 01 December 2020

Pets at Home Group Plc: Disposal of Specialist Group

Strategic alignment of customer-centric pet care platform

Pets at Home Group Plc, the UK's leading pet care business, is pleased to announce the disposal of its five Specialist referral practices (the "Specialist Group") to Linnaeus Group for cash consideration of up to £100m.

 

Pets at Home's strategy as the UK's leading pet care business is unchanged, with this disposal being part of the continuing focus of Group resources on customer-facing activities across our omnichannel retailing and First Opinion veterinary operations. 

 

The Specialist Group comprises the assets and operations of:

 

Dick White Referrals in Cambridgeshire

Anderson Moores in Hampshire

Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Cheshire

Eye Vet in Cheshire

Veterinary Specialists Scotland in Livingston, Scotland

Linnaeus Group, a subsidiary of Mars Veterinary Health, is a veterinary group operating over 150 veterinary clinics across the UK, including highly-respected primary care and referral practices.

 

The disposal of the Specialist Group is for consideration of up to £ 100m, comprising £80m in cash on completion and deferred cash consideration of £20m, payable upon certain financial milestones being met in the future. The cash proceeds will be retained by the Group for general corporate purposes. The disposal is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2021 and is subject to a limited number of customary conditions and approvals.

 

Peter Pritchard, Group Chief Executive Officer, commented:

"I am very pleased to have agreed the disposal of the Specialist Group to Linnaeus. 

 

"Pets at Home is the UK's leading pet care business, across our retail and veterinary operations. This disposal does not deviate from our core focus of providing customers with affordable, convenient, engaging and flexible pet care solutions through our growing online platform and estate of 440 First Opinion veterinary practices and 451 stores. We wish Bart and his team well over the coming years.

 

"The disposal represents a great outcome for all of our stakeholders. Linnaeus is a well-regarded operator of veterinary practices with a strong and established track record of practice management. We hold them in high regard, and they will be a great home for our highly-skilled colleagues in the Specialist Group, underpinned by an ongoing commitment to specialist multi-disciplinary veterinary care, supported by Mars. For our First Opinion Joint Venture Partners and Retail colleagues, the disposal allows realignment of financial and operational resource to support them in doing even more for our customers and their pets. For our shareholders, the disposal proceeds provide the Group with additional resource to accelerate growth across our customer-focused pet care platform."

 

Bart Johnson, CEO of Linnaeus, commented: "We are delighted to welcome our new colleagues and these fantastic and highly-respected referral practices into the Linnaeus family and to grow our offering further, taking another step towards making an even better world for pets".

End of announcement  -

 

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulations (Regulation (EU) No.596/2014). For the purposes of MAR and Article 2 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1055, this announcement is being made on behalf of the Company by Roger Tejwani, Director of Investor Relations & External Communication.

 

Investor Relations Enquiries

Roger Tejwani, Director of Investor Relations & External Communication
+44 (0)1279 927022 

Chris Ridgway, Head of Investor Relations
+44 (0)7788 783925

Media Enquiries

Gillian Hammond, Head of Media & Corporate Affairs
+44 (0)7442 500138

Maitland/AMO:

Clinton Manning
+44 (0)7711 972662

Frederica Bendit
+44 (0)7557 833442

About Pets at Home

Pets at Home Group Plc is the UK's leading pet care business; our commitment is to make sure pets and their owners get the very best advice, products and care. Pet products are available online or from our 451 stores, many of which also have vet practices and grooming salons. Pets at Home also operates a UK leading small animal veterinary business, with 440 First Opinion practices located both in our stores and in standalone locations, as well as five Specialist Referral centres. For more information visit: http://investors.petsathome.com/

 

Disclaimer

This trading statement does not constitute an invitation to underwrite, subscribe for, or otherwise acquire or dispose of any Pets at Home Group Plc shares or other securities nor should it form the basis of or be relied on in connection with any contract or commitment whatsoever. It does not constitute a recommendation regarding any securities. Past performance, including the price at which the Company's securities have been bought or sold in the past, is no guide to future performance and persons needing advice should consult an independent financial adviser. Certain statements in this trading statement constitute forward-looking statements. Any statement in this document that is not a statement of historical fact including, without limitation, those regarding the Company's future plans and expectations, operations, financial performance, financial condition and business is a forward-looking statement. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include, among other factors, changing economic, financial, business or other market conditions. These and other factors could adversely affect the outcome and financial effects of the plans and events described in this statement. As a result you are cautioned not to place reliance on such forward-looking statements. Nothing in this statement should be construed as a profit forecast.

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