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January 16, 2020

Covetrus sells off subsidiary, while IDEXX promotes senior execs

Two of the state’s largest public companies are making organizational changes extending far from Maine.

Covetrus Inc., the Portland-based supplier of animal-health products and services, is selling off a German subsidiary in order to pay down debt. And veterinary diagnostics provider IDEXX Laboratories, headquartered in Westbrook, is promoting five executives in its business serving the international pet-care market.

Covetrus (Nasdaq: CVET) plans to sell scil animal care co. to Colorado-based Heska Corp. (Nasdaq: HSKA), a manufacturer of veterinary specialty products, for $125 million in cash, according to a news release Tuesday. Proceeds are expected to help Covetrus reduce its net debt and improve its leverage position, the company said.

“While we are still in the early stages of executing on our strategy, this transaction is an important initial step in that process,” said Ben Wolin, Covetrus acting president and CEO.

Covetrus had debt of $1.1 billion when it reported in November financial results for the third quarter of 2019

The company is also consolidating its business units in Portugal and Spain with a Spanish veterinary products company, Distrivet SA, creating a new joint venture in which Covetrus will hold a majority share. Terms of that deal were not disclosed in the news release.

Both transactions are expected to close within the next 90 days.

Covetrus provides technology, services and supplies to over 100,000 veterinary practices around the world, and has 5,500 employees including about 300 in Portland.

Senior management changes at IDEXX

IDEXX (Nasdaq: IDXX) on Wednesday said it has promoted the following individuals within the company’s Companion Animals Group.

  • James Polewaczyk, who has led North America commercial operations since 2014, has been promoted to chief commercial officer and executive vice president for Companion Animals Group globally; 
  • Kathy Turner, who has led commercial operations in Europe and Asia since 2014, has been appointed chief marketing officer for IDEXX worldwide;
  • Michael Erickson, who most recently led Companion Animals Group corporate accounts for North America, will now lead global corporate accounts;
  • Tina Hunt, who has held leadership positions for 15 years at IDEXX, has been promoted to executive vice president, continuing direction of the Companion Animals Group in-clinic portfolio and with additional responsibility for worldwide operations; and 
  • Michael Lane, who has held leadership roles for over two decades,, has been promoted to executive vice president, retaining oversight of the Companion Animals Group reference laboratories and with additional responsibility for worldwide information technology. 

The leadership team will continue to report to President and CEO Jay Mazelsky, who succeeded Jonathan Ayers when he resigned in October because of spinal cord injury. Ayers continues as a director and senior advisor of the company. 

“I am pleased to announce these well-deserved promotions and important changes to our leadership structure, which enhance our global integration efforts and execution capabilities across our CAG portfolio,” Mazelsky said in a news release.

IDEXX employs more than 8,000 people worldwide and serves customers in more than 175 countries.

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