By Pam Graham
Jan. 23 (BusinessDesk) – Ebos Group is progressing a couple of acquisition opportunities after indicating to shareholders last year that it was looking to follow up the successful purchase of Masterpet.
Market observers have identified SVS, New Zealand’s leading full service provider of products to the veterinary industry, as a nice fit.
Ebos chief executive Mark Waller told BusinessDesk that Ebos had talked to SVS in the past but had not spoken to them for a while.
“They are privately owned and one of the brothers had bought it off the other one and wasn’t ready to talk about selling,” he said.
The supplier of medicines, consumables, equipment and instruments as well as animal feed to vets was founded by Basil Elstob in 1987. It grew from a small base in Christchurch to a nationwide business.
John Elstob said he wasn’t in talks with Ebos.
But Ebos is looking.
“We are working through a couple of opportunities at the moment,” Waller told BusinessDesk. He said they were in the animal and human health sectors.
Ebos told shareholders at its annual meeting last October that its appetite for acquisitions was still strong after making 18 purchases in the past decade.
The purchase of Masterpet in 2011 from private interests gave it entry to a new sector.
“Financially we were well prepared for this, having exited our scientific businesses for a healthy profit in 2010,” Chairman Rick Christie told shareholders.
The acquisitions of Propharma and Healthcare Logistics in 2007 and Masterpet in 2011 were the largest and the best, Christie said.
The company reported an underlying profit of $27.9 million in the year to June 30, 2012, up 19.4 percent on the previous year.
It finished the year with net debt of only $87 million after funding Masterpet.