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  • Status: Realised
  • Date: 1999–2007
  • Sector:
    • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Location: UK

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CVS Group

CVS Group was created to acquire and operate well-established, high-quality, UK veterinary practices. In partnership with Sovereign the Group grew to become one of the leading veterinary service providers in the UK with over 1,200 staff and was the UK's largest employer of vets. Sovereign exited its investment in CVS through a highly successful flotation on AIM in October 2007.

Investment Background

In August 1999 the CVS Group was founded to acquire and operate UK veterinary practices which were well established within their local community and had a reputation for providing a high-quality service. With financial backing and a highly focused growth strategy from Sovereign, CVS embarked on a programme of acquiring small-animal veterinary practices throughout the UK.

Value Creation

  • Assembled experienced and talented management team
  • 39 separate practice acquisitions delivered
  • Investment in service expansion and diversification

CVS Group at exit

Sovereign brought together a highly skilled management team led by Simon Innes as CEO, previously CEO of Vision Express. Over the following eight years CVS developed a fully comprehensive veterinary services business with a financial partner that understood the relevant market dynamics and growth potential.

CVS achieved phenomenal success, through a total of 39 separate practice acquisitions and strong like-for-like organic growth. By October 2007 the group consisted of:

  • 127 small animal veterinary surgeries – more than double the number operated by the nearest competitor
  • an equine practice and a referral practice
  • three veterinary laboratories providing diagnostic services to CVS and third parties

Sovereign realised its investment in CVS through a highly successful flotation on AIM in October 2007. The Group had grown to become one of the leading veterinary service providers in the UK with over 1,200 staff and was the UK's largest employer of vets.

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In their own words

Sovereign has been a committed and loyal partner throughout the period of its ownership. It has understood the business well and added value in all key strategic decisions.

Simon Innes / CEO