Mars to acquire Colorado pet care company for $1.2B
Mars, Heska Corp. expect closing in second half of 2023
McLean-based global candy and pet food manufacturer Mars Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Loveland, Colorado-based veterinary diagnostic and specialty product provider Heska Corp. in a deal valued at $1.2 billion, or $120 per share, the companies announced Monday.
Heska will join Mars Petcare, expanding its science and diagnostics division.
“This transaction will bring together highly complementary businesses with a strong strategic and cultural fit. … This comprehensive diagnostic offering will mean broader coverage across diagnostic products, services and technology and will accelerate R&D for novel solutions,” Mars Petcare Science and Diagnostics President Nefertiti Greene said in a statement.
The transaction price is an approximately 23% premium over Heska’s closing stock price as of March 31, according to a news release, and an approximately 38% premium over Heska’s 60-calendar day volume weight average price.
Both companies’ boards of directors unanimously approved the agreement. The acquisition will need Heska shareholders’ and regulatory approvals before closing, which the companies anticipate will be in the second half of 2023.
Founded in 1988, Heska manufactures, markets, sells and supports veterinary diagnostic and specialty solutions to veterinary practitioners across North America and in Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, Australia and Malaysia.
“Today’s announcement is a great testament to the quality of our Heska family — we are small, but our people and their creativity, execution, expertise and value-creation have made us exceptional. We are thrilled to join Mars Petcare on its quest to build a better world for pets,” Heska CEO and President Kevin Wilson said in a statement.
The move comes as Mars, Virginia’s largest private company, has seen massive growth. Known for popular candy brands like M&Ms, Mars was previously led by CEO Grant F. Reid, who grew the company’s annual revenue by more than 50% to nearly $45 billion during his eight-year tenure. Reid, who retired in September, was replaced by President and CEO Poul Weihrauch, who previously led the company’s Mars Petcare division.
Mars Petcare has more than 100,000 employees across 130 countries and a portfolio of almost 50 brands. The division has more than 2,500 pet hospitals and diagnostic services, including Banfield Pet Hospital and BluePearl. In January, Mars announced it had partnered with Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to sequence the genomes of 10,000 cats and 10,000 dogs to advance pet health care.