Jul 16, 2023

Mars to buy veterinary diagnostics firm Heska for $1.3 bln

Tins of Pedigree dog food are seen for sale in a supermarket at The Mall of Cyprus in Nicosia, Cyprus, December 7, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra Acquire Licensing Rights

April 3 (Reuters) - Mars Inc is buying veterinary equipment firm Heska Corp (HSKA.O) in a $1.3-billion deal as the maker of Pedigree dog food looks to expand its animal diagnostics business.

In a joint statement issued on Monday, Mars said it would pay $120 per share to Heska's shareholders, which is a premium of 22.9% over its last close. Shares of Heska were up 19.8% to $116.6, in early morning trading.

The companies expect to close the deal in the second half of 2023.

The privately held confectioner, known for its M&M's and Snickers, has been betting on its pet care business as it anticipates a boom in demand due to a rise in pet ownership.

Heska Corp makes diagnostic equipment such as cancer screening tests for animals, and sells its products across the United States as well in countries such as Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, Australia and Malaysia.

In 2022, Heska reported sales of $257.3 million, compared to $253.7 million, a year earlier.

Reporting by Khushi Mandowara in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai

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