Hugh Bentall, owner of with Levin and Horowhenua Veterinary Centre (LHVC) and Ōtaki Vets (OV), is taking a share in Manawatū-based Totally Vets.
Hugh Bentall will also join the board of Totally Vets, while also continuing his clinical practice.
"They have a good culture and are a good fit for us," Bentall said. "Our practices overlap a bit, especially around Palmerston North and Feilding, so this is a good way to share expertise and resources."
Totally Vets currently operates from practices in Pahiatua, Woodville and Dannevirke as well as Feilding, Palmerston North and Taumarunui and employs 130 people. Chris Carter from Totally Vets believes the merger will allow a broader offering with greater levels of service.
"This is an exciting opportunity for us to benefit from synergies and skill sets between our companies to offer a unified and consistent service to both farming clients and pet owners in the Horowhenua region."
He said the merger is a result of steady growth for Totally Vets, which was formed in 2006 as the result of a similar merger between Manawatū Veterinary Services and Awapuni Veterinary Services.
In 2013, Totally Vets purchased Taumarunui Vet Clinic Ltd, followed in 2015 by the merger of Totally Vets and Tararua Veterinary Services Ltd and then the purchase of the Tararua Breeding Centre in 2017, enabling the company to broaden their services.
"We have a very stable, carefully managed business," said Carter, "and we spent a great deal of time ensuring that each company shared the same business outlooks. In our experience, when the right fundamentals and cultures are in place, the chances of success over the long term is much better."
Staff and clients of all three companies will not see any immediate change to the way in which they do business. Each company will continue to operate under its existing name with the same staff. As the companies share processes, activities, skills and resources, the breadth of services is likely to increase.
"We have already met with the Horowhenua Veterinary Club to discuss the merger and will write to farm clients in the Horowhenua region to keep them informed and highlight the benefits of this merger," said Carter.
Bentall said Ōtaki Vets and the Levin and Horowhenua Vets will continue as before, keeping the same names and the same staff.
A Wellingtonian by birth, Bentall came to Levin as a young vet in 1980 and also spent some time working in Auckland and overseas, but has been operating in Levin since 1990.
"The merger has great benefits for us here in Levin and Ōtaki. It also has benefits when the time comes eventually for succession planning," he said.
Though he said he has no plans to retire for a while yet.