Westpoint Veterinary Group, the farm vets based in West Sussex with 17 practices across the UK and associated internet pharmacy (farmacy.co.uk), has been acquired by investment company August Equity in a private transaction completed on 11th January.
Original Westpoint vet Matt Dobbs has been appointed Managing Director and assures clients, colleagues and suppliers that the news means more than just ‘business as usual’.”Excellence and innovation in client service remain our focus,” he says, “We now have access to greater resources and expertise to invest in the development of our people, services and products. Any success we have had is based on our clients’ success; there is no other way and this is our sole focus.”
This ambition is backed, according to Mr Dobbs, by the appointment of new directors with heavyweight business backgrounds. The Group’s incoming Chairman is Steve Duncan, formerly Executive Chairman of the Health and Beauty division of Alliance Boots, including Chairman of Boots. As Finance Director, Paul Hawkes joins Westpoint with experience from a number of senior roles, most recently as FD at TUI Travel.
Matt Dobbs adds that the team is also pleased that Rob Drysdale, one of the founders of Westpoint, will remain with the business with responsibility for leading new projects to further increase value to its customers. “All of Westpoint’s previous shareholders and partners are excited about the opportunity and have re-invested in the business, taking senior management roles,” he says.
August Equity already has experience in the veterinary sector having invested in Independent Vetcare in 2011. According to investment director David Lonsdale, the aim is to expand Westpoint through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions to create the UK’s leading livestock health group.
“Since start up in 2000, the Westpoint team has built a strong business by offering an impressive range of research and science-based veterinary services to farmers and corporate clients,” he says. “Livestock production is changing rapidly, driven by strong underlying forces including, of course, increasing global demand for animal protein together with governmental focus on food security and the requirement for efficient livestock productivity with minimal avoidable waste. Westpoint is well equipped to help clients benefit from these factors.”