IVC was set up with the backing of August Equity through the acquisition of three veterinary businesses in Bath, Hertfordshire and Bristol to facilitate a consolidation of the sector. Since then, 40 other groups have joined meaning site count has grown from 20 to 100 in three years.
During that time, current CEO David Hillier was brought on board – bringing with him experience in the dental sector having headed up ADP Dental Company.
According to a statement, IVC had ‘significant trade and private equity interest’ – but was ultimately sold by way of an off-market transaction.
August Equity partner David Lonsdale comments, ‘IVC has been a very successful investment for our funds and this is testament to the drive, talent and dedication of the management team and staff.
‘IVC has significant growth momentum and we wish the IVC team and Summit Partners well with their future plans.’
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The disposal of IVC represents the third exit from the 2008 August Equity Partners II fund and means that the firm has returned in excess of 90 per cent of cost.
The animal health market is one that August Equity has other interests in. At the beginning of 2014 the firm backed livestock veterinary practice business Westpoint Veterinary Services.
Philip Rattle, August Equity managing partner, adds, ‘IVC is an excellent example of our ability to identify service businesses in fragmented markets where we can build market-leading businesses of scale.’
In January August Equity reached a hard-cap fundraising on its third fund, pulling in £200 million. Its August Equity Partners III fund has already made two off-market investments, back in 2013, when it backed independent day school business Minerva Education and care home concern The Old Deanery Care Village.