Pets at Home has bought The Vet Connection (TVC), the UK’s largest independent telephone vet businesses, for £15 million.
The retailer said it will use its cash reserves to buy TVC, which said it carries out 90,000 remote consultations each year.
Pets at Home hopes the purchase will add to its expanded services division, which already includes in-store vets, pet grooming and dog walking services.
TVC was founded in 2002 as an alternative to pet owners being forced to rely on patchy out-of-hours vet services where fees tend to be far higher. In the year to April 2020, TVC achieved adjusted pre-tax profits of £700,000.
Peter Pritchard, Pets at Home’s chief executive, said the deal will “enhance the overall customer experience, and help drive customer acquisition, retention and lifetime value”.
“The acquisition of TVC marks an important next step in the development of our digital capabilities, providing trusted advice and even more convenient pet care services,” he said.
“TVC is a ‘win-win’ solution for our customers, colleagues and joint venture partners, providing 24/7 access to trusted advice from the comfort of home with increased flexibility around veterinary work-life balance.”