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.
- 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.