VetPartners signals intent as Origin joins rapidly expanding UK group

VetPartners signals intent as Origin joins rapidly expanding UK group

VETPARTNERS Limited has continued the expansion of its farm division with the acquisition of one of the UK’s leading production animal veterinary groups.

The addition of Origin group, which owns some of the best known businesses operating across farm, pig and poultry, as well as a laboratory and consulting business, will create by far the biggest, most diverse production animal team in the UK.

They will be joining VetPartners’ existing production animal network, including Willows Veterinary Group, Hampden Vets, Abbey Veterinary Group, Hale Veterinary Group and Penbode Vets, and the latest acquisition expands the depth and breadth of the group’s portfolio of companion animal, farm and equine practices.

The Origin group has some of the UK’s leading production animal health businesses, including Biobest Laboratories, Garth Pig Vets, Poultry Health Services, Westpoint Farm Vets and Kingshay Farming and Conservation.

The name of Origin will eventually be phased out as individual businesses within their group are so strong in their own right, while the small animal part of Oakwood Veterinary Group will become part of VetPartners’ companion animal division.

Origin’s current chief executive, Mike Tims, will join the VetPartners management team as Operations Director – Production Animal, and the expansion of the group will lead to the establishment of a new Production Animal Board, with members drawn from existing practices and future acquisitions.

The deal was made possible by the backing of Ares, one of the largest global alternative asset managers, and August Equity, one of the UK’s leading private equity firms specialising in veterinary services.

More than 70 small animal, equine and farm practices are now part of VetPartners, which has 3,500 employees working across nearly 300 sites across the UK and from its headquarters at Leeman House in York.

VetPartners chief executive Jo Malone, pictured, said: “This latest exciting development underlines our commitment to our growing farm division and will bring benefits of scale, local support for our teams and access to a wide range of excellent specialist services, as well as the focus and drive to move this part of our business forward.

“We now have some of the very best veterinary businesses from each species within our group. The next 12 months will see further growth in each of our species groups, as well as mixed practices.

“It is a constant balance between growing and maintaining our culture, one which sees collaboration and team work at the heart of all we do. We are blessed with an incredible team of people within VetPartners who work hard every day to maintain our positive approach.

“It was important to us early on to have adequate, credible resource across each of the sectors in the veterinary profession in order we can support and cover all aspects of veterinary care.”

Origin chief executive Mike Tims said: “We are proud to be joining VetPartners, which gives us the opportunity to work alongside other leading farm animal practices like Willows, Hampden, Hale, Penbode and Abbey.

“We are joining the fastest growing, fully diversified veterinary service group in Europe.

“There will be huge benefits to our employees, with fresh career opportunities and new ways of working, while it also ensures we have the ambition, funds and expertise to build a great place to work that provides innovative and industry leading solutions for our clients.”

Penbode Vets, a five-site mixed practices based in Cornwall, joined VetPartners earlier this month.

VetPartners has established a Graduate Development Programme across its small animal, equine and farm divisions.

For media enquiries, please contact Amanda Little, VetPartners Head of PR and Communications, on 0191 300 1181 or email