Coping with the Rising Costs of Veterinary Healthcare: Morgan Stanley (MSPE) sees value in the work of America’s veterinary hospitals.

Investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity (NYSE: MS) completed an investment in Pathway Partners Vet Holding LLC. Founded by Dr. Jasen Trautwein in Austin, TX and led by CEO Shawn McVey, Pathway is a leading veterinary hospital owner and operator. MSPE is partnering with Pathway whose management team will remain in place and retain a significant minority stake in the company.

Pathway is the owner of over 30 general and speciality veterinary hospitals, and together with their talented veterinarians and staff, they are preparing for rapid expansion. They are dedicated to providing the highest and most ethical standard or patient care. They have now increased their size and the geographical footprint of the company, with 35 clinics in total of 9 states across the country.

Pathway aims to be a partner of choice for veterinarians wishing to realize some personal liquidity while they retain a minority interest in the rapid growing and vet-friendly company. The company provides processes and systems to enhance productivity, improve medical facilities while being able to maintain the practices’ local culture and community identity.

Both the companies together, intend to grow meaningfully in the coming future through organic and acquisition-driven objectives. Additionally, Pathway is planning to acquire a majority interest in Thrive, a new veterinary clinic concept which focusses on convenient yet affordable care.

Aaron Sack, co-head of Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity, said, “We are excited for the opportunity to partner with Pathway. Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity has a history of investing in founder-owned companies in attractive industries. Dr. Trautwein and his talented leadership team represent one of the highest quality platforms in the fragmented yet consolidating veterinary services space.”

Gary Matthews, managing director and operating partner of Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity, further added, “The Company’s strong culture and dedication to patient care have positioned Pathway as an industry leader. We look forward to collaborating with Pathway’s talented management team to drive organic and acquisition-fueled growth.”

Dr. Trautwein, founder of Pathway, alleged, “We are excited to partner with Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity and enter a new phase of growth. We are proud of the platform we have established and expect this new partnership to deliver significant value as we expand. Our unique value proposition combined with our unmatched network of relationships with leading veterinary practice owners makes Pathway the partner of choice in a rapidly consolidating marketplace.”

Shawn McVey, CEO of Pathway, said, “We have looked long and hard for the right partner and for us, Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity couldn’t be a better fit to help us grow.”

According to the latest research report published on global veterinary healthcare, rising expenditure on animal healthcare by pet owners and livestock farmers will drive global veterinary healthcare market. On July 27, 2016 Bayer reported that its animal health sales grew 4% year-over-year to a currency-adjusted €426 million ($476 million). Two days later, Merck said its animal health sales during the quarter rose 7% to $898 million.

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