VETPARTNERS UNLEASHED AND ON THE PROWL
12 May 2016, Written by Laura Daquino
VETPARTNERS Australia is adamant about doing things differently.
"We are quite comfortably the second biggest group in Australia and by far the largest in Sydney," says VetPartners Australia CEO Michael Quirk.
"But, as a pet owner, you just wouldn't know that. We like it that way."
"I reflected back on my days in childcare and could almost work out exactly who wouldn't make it because they're making the same mistakes I saw 20 years ago."
You may not be familiar with Quirk or his work. He never branded Chester House Childcare, doesn't have much of an online presence, and likes his companies operating out of the public eye.
"People don't like going to the McDonald's of childcare and they don't like going to the McDonald's of veterinary hospitals either."
VetPartners Australia is in partnership with National Veterinary Associates (NVA), a 300-plus practice group in North America, which Quirk says has an 'unnervingly similar philosophy' to his own about how veterinary services should operate.
Quirk sold part of his stake to NVA earlier this year and 'made his fair share'. He says he could have moved on but is staying put 'because it's such a worthy project'.
"The multiples we're offering are much higher," he says.
"They encourage vets to look more closely and think - well, I wasn't planning to retire, but that's good money and I can exit some of my business now and plan retirement over the next 10 years. They can drop their work hours and not worry as much.
"The intensity of consolidation is right now and it's important for us who are consolidating to win the acquisition battle," he says.
"By Christmas I imagine the main groups will be a little more obvious and the acquisition activity will slow down."