Examining Rapidly Shifting Ownership in Veterinary Hospitals

June 2019

Examining Rapidly Shifting Ownership in Veterinary Hospitals

Traditionally dominated by private practices, veterinary hospitals have recently experienced significant interest from corporate and private equity (“PE”) buyers. Corporate ownership isn’t new – VCA Animal Hospitals acquired its first companion clinic in 1987 – but industry consolidation is expected to rapidly increase over the next five years, reaching 25% of total hospitals (50% of total visits) owned by corporate or PE buyers.

Key Takeaways

  • America, younger practitioners and veterinary students are experiencing a debt crisis.
  • The veterinary market is highly fragmented, with VCA the dominant player at nearly 2,000 clinics or six percent of market share.
  • The pet care industry is highly stable and seen by some as recession proof. During the Great Recession, the average annual American household spending on pets increased from $430.80 in 2007 to $480.09 in 2010.

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