UPDATE 1-VCA Antech to buy PET Drx

Wed Jun 2, 2010 9:55am EDT

* Acquisition priced at $0.34-$0.36/shr * Combined co to operate more than 520 animal hospitals

June 2 (Reuters) - Animal healthcare company VCA Antech Inc (WOOF.O) said it agreed to buy PET DRx Corp VETS.O, a provider of veterinary primary care services, for about $8.5 million, to boost its presence in California.

PET DRx operates 23 animal hospitals with annual revenue of about $64.0 million.

After paying down about $28.5 million of PET's debt, VCA Antech expects the purchase price for PET to be in the range of 34 cents to 36 cents per share.

This represents a premium of about 35 percent to PET's Tuesday closing price of 26 cents.

On closure of the deal, VCA will operate more than 520 animal hospitals in 40 states.

Shares of VCA Antech were trading slighty down at $25.30, while PET shares were up 29 percent at $0.34 Wednesday morning on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Shailesh Kuber in Bangalore; Editing by Anthony Kurian)

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