Canadian Manufacturing

Candy bar maker Mars extends foray into pet business with US$9.1B acquisition

Food company continues to diversify, buys pet health care firm VCA



NEW YORK—Mars is buying the pet health care company VCA in a deal valued at around US$7.7 billion, not including debt.

The candy bar maker will pay $93 for each share of VCA Inc. That’s a 31 per cent premium to the Los Angeles company’s Friday closing price of $70.77.

The companies said Jan. 9 that the deal also includes $1.4 billion in debt, bringing the total to about $9.1 billion.

VCA’s stock is surging more than 28 per cent before the opening bell.

VCA has nearly 800 animal hospitals and 60 diagnostic laboratories in the U.S. and Canada.

Mars Inc., based in McLean, Virginia, is the food and drinks company that owns the Wrigley brand, and it also has a pet care division. VCA will operate as a separate unit of Mars’ pet care business.

The deal still needs approval from VCA shareholders.

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