RxVet Limited was first established in 2010 by two entrepreneurs with an animal health background, Peter Blaikie and Nick Gorman, who recognised an opening to provide a broader range of veterinary products than were currently available in New Zealand and to offer a local, more intimate service. RxVet had acted as our distributor since 2010, selling Dechra products into the New Zealand market.
Over the years the business grew as the collaboration delivered new registrations and products for the New Zealand companion animal and equine veterinarians. The founders also attracted a few other suppliers to add critical mass and complementary products.
In October 2016, Dechra established its own organisation in Australia through the acquisition of the trade and assets of Apex Laboratories Pty Ltd. Apex Laboratories were also commercialising some veterinary registrations in New Zealand and therefore the next natural step was to discuss with RxVet how we could best optimise the sales growth and customer service. It was agreed that by combining forces, the merged businesses would offer better critical mass, be more competitive and grow sales through a more optimal territory coverage. At this point Dechra offered to purchase the RxVet business with the proviso that current owners remained in the business to allow customer continuity and retain local market experience.
Acquisition and Integration
The deal was finalised in November 2017 and completed in December 2017 for a total consideration of £0.3 million (NZ$0.6 million) with a further £0.02 million (NZ$0.04 million) deferred payment which was paid in July 2018. Plans were developed to merge the activities, and the first step was to combine the sales teams to offer optimal territory coverage.
The next challenge was to ensure that both sets of sales people were familiarised with the wider product range. This required both technical and commercial sales training as the Apex products were broadly generic with sales generated through commercial negotiations and good relations, whereas the RxVet products were more orientated to the technical benefits of the products. This is an ongoing process and is reliant on building a good team ethic.
It is was also important to ensure the products in registration did not lose focus or time to market due to management being engaged in integration activities. To date this has been successfully achieved with three new products having been registered since the acquisition.
The next phase of the plan was to rebrand and rename RxVet to Dechra Veterinary Products NZ Limited. This is a key factor in our international strategy to enhance Dechra's image globally and ensure that where we have our own sales organisation, our employees feel that they are part of the larger family with greater opportunity for career progression and that they embrace the Dechra Values.