Prospect Partners Forms New Vet Platform
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Prospect Partners Forms New Vet Platform

AESC nf1Prospect Partners, looking to buy-and-build a veterinary hospital platform, has provided equity capital to Innovetive Petcare to finance the acquisition of Animal Emergency Specialty Center, a specialty veterinary hospital.

Animal Emergency Specialty Center (AESC) becomes the first subsidiary of Innovetive Petcare, a veterinary hospital operator led by animal health industry executives Mark Ziller and Paul Covill.

AESC is a specialty/emergency room veterinary hospital based in Knoxville, TN.  AESC is a referral-based practice focusing on surgical procedures, oncology, and emergency services for small companion animals.  The company was founded in 1991 by veterinary surgeon Mitch Rosenzweig, who joins Innovetive Petcare’s management team and will continue practicing medicine at AESC.

manesh chawla nf1“AESC is a successful and growing specialty veterinary surgical center with an excellent team, and is a great model for other clinics,” said Maneesh Chawla, a Principal of Prospect Partners. “Mark Ziller and Paul Covill are talented, proven managers with a deep understanding of the animal health industry and veterinary hospital operations. They are absolutely committed, as is Prospect Partners, to investing in and building each animal practice and to creating a highly successful hospital network.”

Mr. Ziller and Mr. Covill have worked together for more than 15 years. Mr. Ziller’s multiple successful startups include two veterinary companies. TW Medical Veterinary Supply, a full-line distributor of veterinary pharmaceuticals, surgical supplies and equipment, which was purchased by Lextron/Animal Health International.  Mr. Ziller also launched The Pet Blood Bank, a provider of canine blood infusion products.   Prior to Innovetive Petcare, Mr. Covill held various roles at TW Medical Veterinary Supply, eventually running a $20 million vet and over-the-counter pet products division at Lextron/Animal Health International.

Innovetive Petcare will provide AESC a range of operational support services.  “Innovetive Petcare’s mission is to run a great business so veterinarians and their staff can focus on practicing great medicine. We will provide a suite of best-of-breed business services to support and grow the clinic, while allowing the owners to reduce business risk through financial diversification, liquidity, and, when they are ready, an exit strategy,” said Mr. Ziller. “Through Prospect Partners, we have access to the resources and capital we need to acquire and invest in clinics, provide operational support, and develop a hospital network that implements best practices in management and animal care.”

Prospect Partners focuses exclusively on management-led leveraged recapitalizations and acquisitions of niche market leaders with revenues of less than $75 million.  Since 1998, Prospect Partners has invested nationwide in more than 110 companies in a range of niche manufacturing, distribution, and specialty service markets. The firm has $470 million of capital under management and is based in Chicago with an additional office in Menlo Park (www.prospect-partners.com).

Innovetive Petcare becomes the 10th platform company in Prospect Partners’ $200 million third fund, Prospect Partners III, LP.  Since 1998, Prospect Partners has built 46 platform companies through the acquisitions of more than 115 businesses.

© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 2-24-15

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