Bristol-based veterinary care provider IVC Evidensia has announced an expanded partnership with its shareholders totalling €3.5 billion which values the company at an enterprise value of approximately €12.3 billion.

IVC has a network of more than 1,500 clinics and hospitals and approximately 22,000 employees across Europe. Founded in 2011, the company operates a decentralised model providing integrated support functions such as procurement, veterinary advisors and clinical boards.

IVC was acquired by EQT Private Equity in December 2016, through its EQT VII fund, and in May 2017 the company merged with Evidensia, a Swedish veterinary group acquired by EQT Private Equity in 2014. Since then, IVC Evidensia has grown organically while adding a large number of strategic add-on acquisitions. EQT has supported IVC through hiring a new leadership team around chief executive Steve Clarke, and chairperson Kate Swann, and revenue has more than tripled since the merger.

EQT Private Equity is making a substantial investment through its EQT IX fund, and with the transaction EQT VII is partially exiting its stake, but will remain invested in the company.

Silver Lake, a global technology investment firm, is making a new substantial minority investment in IVC.

Nestlé, which joined EQT Private Equity in 2019 as a minority investor and strategic partner, is also increasing its minority stake in IVC as part of this transaction. Nestlé Purina PetCare operates in the fields of in pet health and nutrition.

Steve Clarke, chief executive of IVC Evidensia, said: “This expanded partnership underscores and reflects our vision for what great veterinary care can be. We are very pleased about the strong renewed commitment from our largest shareholder EQT Private Equity, who has built this company and set the foundation for its sustained growth, and Nestlé Purina PetCare EMENA, with whom we have a powerful partnership combining unique insights across pet nutrition and veterinary care. We believe that we can accelerate our growth through various digital opportunities and are excited to welcome Silver Lake to the shareholder group, who together with EQT, will support us with expanding our digital products and solutions. The totality of this new partnership is exciting and we look forward to together building a digital ecosystem around IVC.”

Per Franzén, partner and investment advisor to EQT Private Equity, added: “We have seen tremendous growth over the past several years and the additional investments will help to fuel IVC’s continued innovation in veterinary care and cement its leadership position in Europe. EQT Private Equity is delighted to both welcome Silver Lake as an investor and continue with the strong support from IVC’s existing partner, Nestlé Purina PetCare EMENA.”

Simon Patterson, managing director of Silver Lake and co-head of EMEA, commented: “IVC is a strong, well-managed business investing effectively in digital technology to create better outcomes for customers and clinicians. We are excited to partner with the existing investors and the highly talented management team to help the company accelerate the implementation of its digital strategy and build a world-class direct-to-consumer platform for pet care.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter at the latest. Goldman Sachs and Jefferies were financial advisors to the sellside. J.P. Morgan and Numis were financial advisors to Silver Lake.

Date published: February 11, 2021

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