Buyer Trends in the Veterinary Industry
Happy Holidays and congratulations on making it through another year! And what a year it’s been. Covid is still rearing its ugly self in new forms. Wearing masks went away, then came back again. Some veterinary conventions were canceled, some held virtually and others allowed in-person attendance. Corporate veterinary practice buyers are still around. Individual buyers are also acquiring practices albeit hesitantly. Banks started financing practices again. So what’s going to happen in 2022?
We hope that we can get back to some form of normalcy. Wouldn’t it be great to go out to dinner and not have to get carded as if we’re a 21-year-old buying our first beer? Having to show your vaccine card and wear masks is getting to be a pain. Covid is probably going to be around in some form or another for a very long time and will be similar to the flu as time wears on.
Corporate buyers will also be around for a long time. I’ve heard that corporates currently hold between 12% and 22% of all veterinary practices. Depending on who you ask and how you calculate what constitutes a corporate buyer. I would guess the real number is probably around 17%. There has been some consolidation of corporate buyers that is occurring. Getting acquired by a larger corporate buyer is the goal of the smaller corporate buyers. As they get gobbled up, there will be fewer and fewer buyers to drive up the value of practices.
Individuals are still buying practices and will continue to do so forever. It’s our job as practice brokers as well as the job of others in the veterinary industry to educate and assure veterinarians that they can be successful owning a veterinary practice and do very well. Many buyers worry about competing against the corporate owners thinking that they cannot get the same pricing on supplies and services that the big guys receive. Most supply companies have told me that they will in fact give the same pricing on supplies that the corporate owners get.
We wanted to keep you informed and know what’s going on in the veterinary practice buyer world. We wish you a happy and healthy 2022!