- Pet product retailer and veterinary group Pets at Home said it had sold five specialist referral practices to rival Linnaeus for up to £100 million.

The sum included £80 million in cash and a deferred cash consideration of £20 million, payable upon certain financial milestones being met in the future.

Linnaeus is a UK subsidiary of US giant Mars Petcare.

Pets at Home said the disposal was part of a continuing focus on customer-facing activities across its retailing and first opinion veterinary operations.

The specialist group being sold comprised Dick White Referrals in Cambridgeshire, Anderson Moores in Hampshire, Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Cheshire, Eye Vet in Cheshire and Veterinary Specialists Scotland in Livingston, Scotland.

Pets at Home said the sale was expected to complete in the first quarter of 2021 and was subject to a limited number of customary conditions and approvals.

'This disposal does not deviate from our core focus of providing customers with affordable, convenient, engaging and flexible pet care solutions through our growing online platform and estate of 440 First Opinion veterinary practices and 451 stores,' chief executive Peter Pritchard said.

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