Partners Group Buys Blue River PetCare

Partners Group has acquired Blue River PetCare, a US-based operator of veterinary hospitals for companion animals.

Blue River manages a network of over 90 general practice hospitals and more than 300 veterinarians across 23 states in the US. The company was founded in 2009 by CEO Dan Blumenthal (a former managing partner at private equity firm Willis Stein), COO Roy Jain (a former principal at Willis Stein), and CFO Ferdie Schmitz. The company is headquartered in Chicago, IL (www.blueriverpetcare.com).

Chicago-based Willis Stein previously invested in Westlake Village, CA-based National Veterinary Associates and sold the company to Summit Partners in April 2007.  The investment, led by Mr. Blumenthal, was a consolidation of veterinary hospitals which grew from 22 hospitals in June 1997 to 96 hospitals at exit.

“Since its inception, Blue River has operated as a founder-run business, aiming to preserve the legacy that our veterinarians have worked so hard to establish in their communities and we are extremely proud of the unique culture we have built and of the great care that our hospitals provide to our patients and customers,” said Mr. Blumenthal. “We are very excited to be welcoming Partners Group as a value-added partner to our business and look forward to building on our reputation as an employer of choice for leading veterinarians across the US.”

The founders of Blue River will continue to hold a sizeable equity stake in the company. Following the investment, Partners Group will work with Blue River’s management team to support both organic and acquisitive growth. Typical acquisition targets for Blue River will have at least $1.2 million of revenue and two and a half or more veterinarians.

“Blue River is a well-established brand in a resilient industry, supported by a highly-capable management team,” said Chris Russell, a managing director at Partners Group. “The company is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the attractive opportunity in the veterinary sector, which is highly-fragmented and benefits from favorable market tailwinds driving overall growth.”

Partners Group (SIX: PGHN) is a global investment management firm with over $83 billion of assets under management in private equity, private real estate, private infrastructure and private debt. The firm is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, and has over 1,200 employees across 19 offices around the globe (www.partnersgroup.com).

BofA Merrill Lynch was the financial advisor to Blue River PetCare.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | July 2, 2019

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