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February 8, 2019

Covetrus makes its debut on Nasdaq exchange

Courtesy / Nasdaq Ben Shaw, center, founder and CEO of Portland-based Vets First Choice and now president and CEO of Covetrus, is joined by his father, David Shaw, and many others at today's 9:30 a.m. ringing of the opening bell at Nasdaq.

Maine has a new big dog in its small pack of publicly traded entities as shares of animal-health technology and services company Covetrus Inc. began trading on Nasdaq Friday.

The company (Nasdaq: CVET), formed from a merger between Portland startup Vets First Choice and Henry Schein Animal Health, unites two companies that had a combined $4 billion in 2018 revenues, have a 5,000-strong global workforce across 25 countries and a strong North American footprint. Customers include 90% of U.S. veterinary practices, 45,000 customers in Europe and more than 3,000 customers in Australia and New Zealand.

Henry Schein Animal Health was spun off from Melville, N.Y.-based Henry Schein Inc. (Nasdaq: HSIC), which is looking to the merger to deliver more than $100 million in operating income synergies within three years, driven mainly by accelerated revenue growth and company-wide adoption of the Vets First Choice technology platform.

Covetrus is a global animal-health technology and services company serving the companion, equine and large-animal veterinary markets

In mid-day trading, shares of Covetrus were trading at $42.85, down 0.46% from the open.

“Today marks an important new chapter in the world of veterinary medicine, as we launch Covetrus as a new company listed on Nasdaq,” said Ben Shaw, founder and CEO of Portland-based Vets First Choice and now president and CEO of Covetrus, in a press release issued before ringing the 9:30 a.m. opening bell at Nasdaq.

He added: “We look forward to strengthening our customer relationships and expanding our veterinary practice partnerships worldwide as we bring more comprehensive and powerful solutions to market to meet their evolving needs and improve health and financial outcomes.”

Covetrus will have its headquarters in a 170,000-square-foot building on Portland’s East End that is currently under construction.

As of Monday, Covetrus will replace Dun & Bradstreet Corp. (NYSE: DNB) in the S&P Midcap 400 while the separately listed Henry Schein Inc. will remain in the S&P 500, according to a Feb. 4 announcement from S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The S&P MidCap 400 Index provides investors with a benchmark for mid-sized companies. The index, which is distinct from the LargeCap S&P 500, measures the performance of mid-sized companies, reflecting the distinctive risk and return characteristics of this market segment.

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