Boost for Italian veterinary industry as fourth practice joins VetPartners

NEW Managing Director David Giraldi believes the expansion of VetPartners in Italy will bring positive change to the country’s veterinary industry.

VetPartners is creating a platform of respected practices in Italy following the acquisition of four small animal practices in Ferrara, Florence, Parma and Treviso.

Ospedale Veterinario San Francesco in Treviso has become the latest practice to join VetPartners.

Ospedale Degli Animali in Ferrara, Vet Hospital H24 Firenze in Florence and Ospedale Veterinario Dott Peressotti in Parma were the first Italian practices to join VetPartners in November.

Two more practices are set to join early next year and further steady growth is anticipated in 2020.

Mr Giraldi, who was previously joint owner of Ospedale Degli Animali, is overseeing VetPartners’ expansion in Italy following his appointment as Managing Director.

He has been receiving many enquiries from Italian practice owners interested in joining the group, and believes the establishment of VetPartners in Italy will bring positive change to the country’s evolving veterinary profession.

Mr Giraldi said: “We are not going to be an aggressive player but a supportive one as we want to build a reputation built on core values like collaboration, respect and support, which we share with VetPartners in the UK. We are creating a group of practices that will become advocates of VetPartners by sharing the same vision.

“It is a new group with the ultimate aim of being an organization that anybody feels to work for. Veterinarians and support teams will be working for a company that looks after all team members, not just the owners or ex-owners. To keep team members, you have to give them opportunities to grow. Anyone who joins us will have opportunities to gain more skills, more autonomy and a sense of purpose.

“As vets we have been taught that the best way to increase footfall is through word of mouth about your good reputation, and that is how we aim to build up VetPartners in Italy. We will not be looking to purchase clinics with a land-grabbing or a speculative  approach.

“We want to build a company with as many practices as possible, but have the scale to manage them. It needs to be in a progressive way so we can look after the people we’ve taken in.”

VetPartners, which has its headquarters in York in the North of England, was established by British vet Jo Malone, four years ago, with three practices, with the backing of a private equity group.

After building up a strong base of small animal practices across the UK, VetPartners moved into the equine, mixed and farm sectors in 2018. It now has 130 of the UK’s most respected and trusted veterinary practices, with 460 sites. The group diversified to include a small animal veterinary nursing school, an equine veterinary nursing school, laboratories, research dairy and locum agency.

VetPartners has been looking to expand across Europe, with interest in acquiring practices in France, Germany, Netherlands and Italy. To support its growth, the group last year secured the support of leading international investment company, BC Partners, which has Euros 17 billion of assets under management in private equity and credit across the globe.

Mr Giraldi, pictured, believes the emergence of VetPartners in Italy will be a positive move to help bring further growth and opportunities for everybody in the Italian veterinary industry.

He said: “I believe there is far more demand for a new veterinary group in Italy like VetPartners than people realise. Without advertising ourselves, I have been receiving an average of one phone call a day from clinics wanting to know about VetPartners. Our ambition is to provide clinics with a choice if they want to join a larger veterinary group.

“There is a fast changing “VUCA” environment in the Italian veterinary profession as it is volatile, sometimes uncertain, complex and at times ambiguous. Vets are concerned about the future and about their legacy and we want to make a contribution towards  positive change.

“The three main issues affecting the Italian veterinary profession are rapid change in the market, attraction and retention of vets and support teams and rules and regulations regarding ownership of veterinary practices that are changing fast. We want to provide the right information so people can make an informed choice and understand corporate groups can be a force for good and provide great opportunities.”

For media enquiries, please contact Amanda Little, VetPartners Senior PR and Communications Manager, on 07970 198 492 or email amanda.little@vetpartners.co.uk

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