The UNAVETS Group (“UNAVETS”), the leading veterinary healthcare group with 90+ practices across Spain and Portugal, announced today that it has raised an additional €116 million from Ares Management Credit funds. Part of the capital will refinance existing debt with a significant majority reserved for future acquisition and capex funding to acquire veterinary hospitals and clinics and to continue acquisitions and investments in meaningful adjacencies. UNAVETS is currently majority owned by funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management L.P. (“Oaktree”).
“We are thrilled Oaktree, and now Ares, as well, are backing our platform – helping to fuel our growth,” says Junko Sheehan, CEO and Chairman of UNAVETS. “As we continue to evolve UNAVETS, this financing will give us additional firepower to invest strategically across the veterinary sector – meaning in people, facilities, equipment and innovation – to provide the best care for our pets and ongoing professional development and future for our vets.”
Based on Ares’ commitment and support, UNAVETS is now even better positioned to continue its successful strategy, employing more than 900 veterinary healthcare professionals and support staff in less than three years since its inception. The executive team at UNAVETS all bring significant experience to bear both within the veterinary sector and from a business perspective. The Company recently recruited Enrique Cardona (COO and Country Manager of Spain; formerly CEO of Vetsum) to the executive team, alongside Guilherme Assis (Country Manager of OneVet / Portugal), Aaron Sisternes (CFO), and Ignacio Gonzalez (Head of M&A and Expansion). The full headquarters team of ~50 individuals are focused on providing support to all of the Clinical Directors and practice teams in the Group.
In addition to supporting the Clinical teams with the necessary resources to continue to grow and evolve, UNAVETS is also continuing to grow inorganically via M&A. The Company has invested creatively across the veterinary healthcare sector, placing capital strategically in adjacent areas which are synergistic with its current portfolio, which has also helped to accelerate its growth. Karim Khairallah, Managing Director and Co-Portfolio Manager of the European Principal Group at Oaktree, comments, “The UNAVETS platform has seen very strong growth since inception and its management team has positioned the business well for the next stage of organic and inorganic growth. The Ares financing is a testament of this and provides UNAVETS with the right long term growth funding that is needed in this sector. Oaktree’s European Principal Group has worked closely with Ares on multiple transactions, specifically in buy and build strategies, and Ares has brought a flexible and tailored financing solution that fits UNAVETS’ growth needs.”
The veterinary sector in Iberia has undergone a phase shift in consolidation over the last couple years and more than likely this trend will only accelerate over the coming few years. In addition to the natural trend towards consolidation, research reports have continued to see that overall people are not easily willing to compromise on healthcare spending for their family members, which now include their pets. Alonso Torre de Silva, Managing Director in the Ares Credit Group in Madrid, comments, “The veterinary healthcare sector continues to demonstrate strong growth despite broader economic headwinds, demonstrating strong forecast fundamentals and recession resilience. Ares is pleased to provide capital to UNAVETS as it continues to build on its record of rapid growth and disciplined performance.”
UNAVETS and Oaktree were advised by Houlihan Lokey on corporate finance, EY on tax and Weil Gotshal & Manges and Cuatrecasas on the legal aspects of the deal. Ares received legal advice from Macfarlanes and Uría Menéndez.
The UNAVETS Group (“UNAVETS”) is a leading veterinary healthcare group with 91 practices across Spain and Portugal. UNAVETS is comprised of reference/specialized centers, 24-hour hospitals, primary opinion clinics and vet offices, which guarantee a complete service offering. Its growth strategy started with a focus on Iberia but has since expanded to other European countries and the United States, as well as adjacent verticals synergistic with veterinary healthcare. UNAVETS differentiates via heavy investment in science-led clinical training, equipment and clinic business support; continuing to push the envelope in favor of advanced veterinary care. For more information please visit: https://www.unavets.com.
About Ares Management Corporation
Ares Management Corporation (NYSE: ARES) is a leading global alternative investment manager offering clients complementary primary and secondary investment solutions across the credit, private equity, real estate and infrastructure asset classes. The firm seeks to provide flexible capital to support businesses and create value for its stakeholders and within its communities. By collaborating across its investment groups, Ares Management Corporation aims to generate consistent and attractive investment returns throughout market cycles. As of September 30, 2022, Ares Management Corporation’s global platform had approximately $341 billion of assets under management, with over 2,450 employees operating across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.aresmgmt.com.
Oaktree is a leader among global investment managers specializing in alternative investments, with $163 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2022. The firm emphasizes an opportunistic, value-oriented and risk-controlled approach to investments in credit, private equity, real assets and listed equities. The firm has over 1,050 employees and offices in 20 cities worldwide. For additional information, please visit Oaktree’s website at http://www.oaktreecapital.com/.