VETPARTNERS’ expansion across Europe is set to continue with the group preparing to welcome its first French practices.
The UK-based veterinary group expanded into Italy in 2019, with the acquisition of five practices, and expects further growth in France in coming months.
Vincent Parez, Managing Director of VetPartners France, believes the effects of the global health crisis will herald further transformation of the veterinary profession, with increased demand to join larger groups like VetPartners.
Veterinary practices have faced unprecedented times during the pandemic, presenting practice owners with a number of challenges, including dramatically reduced revenue with vets initially seeing only emergency or urgent cases, new ways of working for team members and social distancing measures being introduced.
Mr Parez, who is also a qualified vet, said: “I think one of the consequences of the pandemic will be an acceleration in the number of practices seeking to be part of larger veterinary groups.
“What this health crisis has done is highlight that being part of a network of practices is better than working alone. When you are part of a family of practices sharing the same objectives and values, you don’t feel alone and you have support to find the solutions.
“The pandemic will have a profound effect on the profession and lead to more consolidation in the veterinary industry because vets need more support. We have already received a lot of interest from practice owners and, now we are returning to normal life, the first French practices will be joining VetPartners.
“I think vets over the age of 40 are already looking for a more secure future and dealing with the effects of a pandemic will have an impact on their mindset. Vets want the best care for owners and their pets, but managing HR, admin and other issues they face will leave them looking for solutions and support.
“Vets in France were not equipped for all the problems that came with the pandemic and many don’t have the resources or the cash flow when faced with this kind of experience so this is the sort of help they will receive if they join a larger veterinary group.”
The appointment of Mr Parez signalled VetPartners’ intent to increase its presence in Europe following last year’s expansion into Italy, and the group expects to welcome the first French practices to the group by early autumn 2020.
To support its growth, the group is backed by leading international investment company, BC Partners, which has Euros 17 billion of assets under management in private equity and credit across the globe.
VetPartners already owners 130 of the UK’s most respected veterinary practices, with 5,522 employees working in nearly 450 sites, and he believes it is the perfect time for the group to expand in France with the country’s veterinary industry facing a period of change.
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