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Author Topic: Publically Traded Corporate Vet Chains  (Read 7045 times)
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Steve
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« on: September 01, 2009, 07:37:37 PM »

This company caught my eye today.  Would you be comfortable with the idea of your Vet Hospital being publicly traded on Wall Street?  I'm not. This is exactly the same kind of system (gaming the system) that has led us to the problems we have with our current health system. 

VCA Antech Company Description

When VCA Antech says health care has gone to the dogs, it means it. VCA operates the nation's largest chain of animal hospitals -- about 470 in some 40 states. Its hospitals offer basic wellness checkups, dental care, neutering and spaying, vaccinations, and specialty surgeries. With about 40 diagnostic laboratories nationwide, VCA also interacts with the animal kingdom by testing blood, tissue, and urine samples for more than 16,000 animal hospitals and practices, universities, and government agencies. Founded in 1986 as Veterinary Centers of America, the company grows by purchasing other animal hospitals and veterinary product suppliers. Baillie Gifford & Co. owns about 10% of the company.

TOP INSTITUTIONAL HOLDERS

NEUBERGER BERMAN GROUP, LLC   
FMR LLC   
BAMCO INC.   
JP MORGAN CHASE & COMPANY   
Barclays Global Investors UK Holdings Ltd   
VANGUARD GROUP, INC. (THE)   
SELECT EQUITY GROUP, INC.   
FRONTIER CAPITAL MANAGEMENT COMPANY INC   
FRANKLIN RESOURCES, INC   
BAILLIE GIFFORD AND COMPANY   

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/mh?s=WOOF

http://people.forbes.com/profile/robert-l-antin/83897

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Steve
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2009, 08:11:28 PM »

CA Antech Inc. Reports Operating Results (10-Q)

Highlight of Business Operations:

Our growth strategy includes the acquisition of independent animal hospitals. We currently anticipate that we will acquire $60.0 million to $70.0 million of annualized Animal Hospital revenue in 2009. In addition, we also evaluate the acquisition of animal hospital chains, laboratories, or related businesses if favorable opportunities are presented.

http://www.gurufocus.com/news.php?id=64335

 Angry This really upsets me. Angry
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Steve
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2009, 07:09:00 AM »

Keeping shareholders happy is not what I want vet care to be about, either.

VCA Antech obviously has some very formidable "cash" and power behind them.

Looking at  NEUBERGER BERMAN GROUP, LLC  for example we see the CEO is George Herbert Walker IV. (Formerly a partner and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. Second cousin to Former U. S. President George Walker Bush)

From 2003 to 2008, Neuberger Berman served as the asset management arm of Lehman Brothers. Following the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, Neuberger Berman was sold to its management on December 3, 2008 as part of the liquidation process.

Just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, executives at Neuberger Berman sent e-mail memos suggesting, among other things, that the Lehman Brothers' top people forgo multi-million dollar bonuses to "send a strong message to both employees and investors that management is not shirking accountability for recent performance."

Lehman Brothers Investment Management Director George Herbert Walker IV,  dismissed the proposal, going so far as to actually apologize to other members of the Lehman Brothers executive committee for the idea of bonus reduction having been suggested.


Not trying to be mean, hostile, or nasty or anything but NO THANKS.
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Steve
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2009, 08:07:21 AM »

"VCA started with the purchase of one premier animal hospital - VCA West Los Angeles in 1987. At that time, VCA was owned by a group of private investors."

Okay see the problem is the transition from a local success to a nationwide duplicated model. Entering into the stock market is enough to irreversibly pollute the original mission of the first success. By entering the stock market, stockholder imperatives become prominent business drivers. It then becomes a purely financial competition for investor dollars, and the essence of the operations inevitably transforms from an equitable and respectful relationship with local citizens into a cost-containment, cost-streamlining and increasingly competitive dogma imposed by necessary Wall street practices.

Just something to contemplate.

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lesliek
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Trooper,Remy & Fragile


« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2009, 04:13:36 PM »

I changed vets in part because they became a VCA hospital. Beautiful new facility but the quality of care went down. I should say in their defence however that every time there is a natural disaster the VCA hospitals offer free boarding to families that have been evacuated. I don't like the idea of a corporation making medical decisions though,for me or any of my family[2 or 4 legged].
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"the world's most inept extortionist"
Steve
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2009, 04:42:32 PM »

I changed vets in part because they became a VCA hospital. Beautiful new facility but the quality of care went down. I should say in their defence however that every time there is a natural disaster the VCA hospitals offer free boarding to families that have been evacuated. I don't like the idea of a corporation making medical decisions though,for me or any of my family[2 or 4 legged].

My main problem with most Corporations in the event of natural disasters is they tend to use these events as PR opportunities, and to gain market share and competitive advantage rather then from purely unselfish reasons. "Giving to get".  

Perhaps VCA still has some "heart" left but I am very uncomfortable with the predatory nature of their system-business model. It's very disturbing and I know exactly what they are trying to do and what they are going to end up becoming if they continue "unchecked".

We need reform and limits on Corporate power.  I don't expect to see dramatic change in my lifetime regarding this problem.
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lesliek
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Trooper,Remy & Fragile


« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2009, 09:25:01 PM »

I agree with you Steve. But whatever the motivation,at least they are helping people. The biggest problem I had with them is that although some of the vets were the same,the office staff were all new & VCA employees.As well as most of the techs. Everything started to be done"by the VCA book" & mistakes in tests & charges were common. The worst part was New Years Eve a year ago when Trooper ate a whole tray of dark chocolate covered macaroons. They wouldn't give me the dosage of peroxide for him over the phone,or let me bring him in even though they used to our vet & are the closeat to me. Then they told me to go to a VCA er at least 45 minutes away instead of the nearest ER. Luckily my new vets wife ran over to the office & checked the dosage & called me back as well as warned me to go immediately to the closest ER for charcoal treatment. We had just switched & they had not even seen Trooper yet.[the new vet was out on an emergency call] Needless to say we are still with the new vet who still has a private practice instead of a "chain store".
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"the world's most inept extortionist"
Steve
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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2009, 02:12:21 PM »

I can acknowledge the public service part in time of crisis.

Here's what I don't like.  The big institutional investors are sneaking in on and slowly beginning the process of undermining (Corporatizing) the Veterinary Industry.

Example . . . .

WellPoint Inc. One of the nations Big Two Health Insurers.

TOP INSTITUTIONAL HOLDERS
Barclays Global Investors UK Holdings Ltd
JP MORGAN CHASE & COMPANY
FMR LLC
VANGUARD GROUP, INC. (THE)

VCA Antech Inc.
TOP INSTITUTIONAL HOLDERS
Barclays Global Investors UK Holdings Ltd
JP MORGAN CHASE & COMPANY
FMR LLC
VANGUARD GROUP, INC. (THE)

This doesn't bode well for the future. Hopefully a majority of the Vet community will resist the Corporate and Institutional takeover of Pet Health Care before they acquire to much clout and power.
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