Henry Schein, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSIC) and Vets First Choice announced plans today for Henry Schein to spin off its Animal Health business and merge it with Vets First Choice, creating an innovative approach to advancing the delivery of animal health care designed to provide unique benefits to veterinarians, manufacturers, pet owners, and their pets.
The new company, to be called Vets First Corp., will harness insights and analytics to provide pro-active prescription management, and combined with Henry Schein’s leading global animal health solutions, will create a unique animal health service and technology platform dedicated to supporting the veterinary market. By bringing together the power of data analytics, digital communications, practice management software, and supply chain expertise into a multi-channel platform, Vets First Corp. is expected to improve health outcomes for the benefit of pets and their owners, while driving increased demand for products and services for the benefit of veterinary offices and manufacturers.
“We are excited about the merger of Henry Schein Animal Health with Vets First Choice. Over the years we have observed the impressive success of Vets First Choice and believe the combined management team is well positioned to capitalize on the significant opportunities created by the merger,” said Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Henry Schein, Inc.
“We are similarly excited about the significant growth opportunities for Henry Schein’s dental and medical businesses as we implement our 2018-2020 Strategic Plan,” Mr. Bergman continued. “Building upon our long history of reinvention, the Company will continue to expand our offering of innovative solutions for our dental and medical customers. We see significant growth opportunities in both the dental and medical markets, such as advancing our position in practice management solutions, including those provided by our new Henry Schein One joint venture, and expanding our penetration with health care practitioners and specialists as well as large group practices and ambulatory care sites.”
A New Global Leader in Animal Health
“We are early in the lifecycle of rapid technological change in the animal health market,” said Ben Shaw, Founder and CEO of Vets First Choice, who will become CEO of the new company. “This merger creates an enhanced value chain that connects the veterinarian, the manufacturer, and the pet owner through insights and analytics that will support better clinical and financial outcomes. This new global animal health care company is focused on improving clinical compliance by facilitating the delivery of care how, when, and where the pet owner wants it.”
Vets First Choice, founded in 2010, has quickly become a leading provider of technology-enabled health care services, with a sole focus on animal health. The company is based in Portland, Maine, where the combined company will be headquartered.
Henry Schein Animal Health (HSAH) is the world’s largest and only global supply chain provider of animal health products and related services, with market-leading positions in North America, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand. HSAH has approximately 4,300 team members and active customers include approximately 75% of veterinarians in the U.S., and 70% of veterinarians in Europe and Australia/New Zealand. In addition, more than 50% of U.S. Animal Health practices currently utilize Henry Schein’s practice management software platform to drive office productivity and customer engagement. Vets First Choice has approximately 750 team members in the U.S., and more than 5,100 veterinary practices on its prescription management platform.
Immediately following a spin-off from Henry Schein, HSAH will combine with Vets First Choice to form a new publicly traded company that is expected to provide veterinarians with a powerful new platform to grow their practices, improve client engagement, and drive better health outcomes for pets. This transaction is expected to uniquely position the new company to pursue new revenue opportunities, greater operational efficiency, and accelerated growth, in an attractive end-market.
The company will have combined pro forma 2017 sales of approximately $3.6 billion. HSAH and Vets First Choice expect synergies to grow annually such that in year three, operating income synergies for the combined business will be in excess of $100 million, driven largely by accelerated revenue growth from the adoption of the Vets First Choice platform across the HSAH customer base.
“By combining forces with HSAH, we anticipate accelerating the introduction of new and enhanced programs, services, and technology to veterinary teams so they can deepen their focus on doing the great work of caring for the animals in our lives,” said Mr. Shaw. “Manufacturers will benefit from a global platform to help drive category growth, improved client engagement, and enhanced medication and service compliance. At the same time, team members of the combined company will continue to contribute in a highly collaborative environment with the shared goal of supporting our customers’ success.”