Diss-based veterinary giant CVS Group boosts practice numbers with rival buyout

PUBLISHED: 10:15 27 October 2015 | UPDATED: 09:21 28 October 2015




Veterinary group CVS has expanded its network of surgeries through the acquisition of a smaller rival.

The Diss-based firm, which runs vet practices, laboratories and pet crematoria, will now operate 322 surgeries across the country after it bought Highcroft Pet Care, based in Bristol.

The buy-out of Highcroft is expected to cost CVS up to £12m, depending on sales until January 2017.

The company said it believed the purchase was a “strong fit” with the group’s existing operations, and an important step in the group’s “strategy of growing integrated operations in practices, out-of-hours and referrals centres”.

Chief executive Simon Innes said: “CVS looks forward to working with the Highcroft team to continue to deliver high levels of expertise and service as we deliver the next phase of growth together.”

For the year ending June 30, 2014, CVS saw turnover increase 19pc to £142.9m, up from £120.1m the year before.

Pre-tax profits for the same period rose 12.3pc to £6.3m, up from £5.5m the year before, and its Healthy Pet Club membership rose 45pc.

Included in the acquisition of Highcroft are the firm’s 220 staff members, a total which includes 50 vets.

CVS, which was founded in 1999 to buy and operate veterinary practices, said it was “committed to further expansion through acquisitions”.

It said in a statement: “The group is aware that there remains a large number of independent businesses that recognise the benefits of becoming part of a larger specialist group and the breadth of service that it can offer.”

CVS provides back office support including finance, human resources, marketing, health and safety, IT and purchasing.

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