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Mars Candy Company Drops $7.7 Billion on VCA Animal Hospital Chain

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The well-known chocolate company’s all-cash transaction shows its commitment to the pet care industry
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bmf-foto.de / Shutterstock

The Mars Petcare division has also grown in the pet DNA testing business. 

Mars, Inc. is home to more than just big-name chocolate brands like Milky Way and Dove Chocolate; it also has a pet care division that includes Royal Canin, Pedigree, and Whiskas. This week, the company announced its expansion of Mars Petcare with the acquisition of VCA Inc., the largest family of pet care providers in the United States.

VCA was founded in 1986 as a single animal care facility in Los Angeles, and it now operates more than 780 hospitals in 43 states across the country and five Canadian provinces. The company provides diagnostic services to more than 19,000 independent hospitals, according to the company website.

"Joining the Mars family of brands provides significant value to our stockholders while also preserving the Company's values and a culture focused on investing in our people and facilities to promote excellence in pet care and long-term growth," Bob Antin, VCA’s CEO, said in a statement.

"Mars has a long-standing commitment to pet health, wellness and nutrition. We will work together every day to continue to provide the quality care and excellent service VCA is known for to our clients and their pet families."

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The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately $9.1 billion; however, it will include $1.4 billion in outstanding debt, totaling to a $7.7 billion deal.