Mars Inc said it would buy VCA Inc for $7.7 billion, cementing the Whiskas and Pedigree pet food maker’s position as the largest operator of pet hospitals in the United States.
Candy maker Mars, also the largest pet food manufacturer in the world, said it would offer $93 for every share, a premium of 31.4 percent to VCA’s Friday closing price.
VCA shares were trading at $91 before the opening bell on Monday.
Mars became the No. 1 pet food maker in 2014, after buying Procter & Gamble Co’s pet foods business, known for brands such as Iams and Natura, for $2.9 billion.
Nestle SA, the maker of Purina pet products, is the second-biggest pet food maker, according to Euromonitor data.
VCA, founded in 1986, operates nearly 800 animal hospitals with 60 diagnostic laboratories in the United States and Canada. The company had annual sales of $2.13 billion in 2015.
Mars Petcare business includes the Banfield Pet Hospital, which runs over 900 pet clinics.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and BDT & Co were Mars’ financial advisers, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom provided legal advice.
Barclays was VCA’s financial adviser and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Potter Anderson Corroon LLP were legal advisers.