News Column

Henry Schein Animal Health to Acquire SmartPak

May 22, 2014

Transaction Combines Two Companies That Create Innovative Solutions For Animal Health

WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- North Bridge, a leading venture capital and growth equity firm announced today that one of its growth equity portfolio investments, SmartPak - the leading provider of equine supplements and horse supplies in the U.S., is being acquired. The SmartPak Board of Directors has approved the investment by Henry Schein Animal Health to acquire an approximate 60 percent ownership position in the company. Henry Schein is joined in the investment by Oak Hill Capital Partners, a private equity firm with experience in the animal health market. The remainder of ownership in the company will continue to be held by the SmartPak management team. As a result of this transaction, North Bridge is exiting the business.

Over the course of a nearly seven-year investment period by North Bridge, SmartPak grew sales at a 15 percent compound annual growth rate and brought the company to new levels of profitability. During that time North Bridge helped to build out the company’s management team, put together a world-class board of directors, and honed customer and market analytics to drive equity value in the business.

SmartPak launched its pioneering equine supplement delivery system in 1999, and under the leadership of President and Chief Executive Officer Paal Gisholt, has grown to become the leading health brand in the equine industry, with a team of over 325 employees. Today, SmartPak is widely recognized throughout the industry for its patented SmartPak™ supplement feeding system, which provides equine supplements in customized daily dose packaging. Now as part of Henry Schein, SmartPak will greatly enhance that company’s product and service offerings to the equine community.

“SmartPak was North Bridge Growth Equity’s first investment, and represents of the type of technology-enabled company we look to partner with today – industry leaders that are entrepreneur owned and look to solve complex problems in innovative ways,” said Doug Kingsley, General Partner with North Bridge Growth Equity. “We’re thrilled for Paal and his team and we are confident that today’s news of Henry Schein Animal Health’s acquisition will lead SmartPak to even greater heights.”

“North Bridge has been a wonderful partner in growth for SmartPak. Doug and his team have helped us in countless ways, and we could not have achieved all that we have to date without the partnership and support of Doug and the team at North Bridge,” said Paal Gisholt, SmartPak’s President and Chief Executive Officer, who will be staying on with the company. “North Bridge’s investment allowed us to triple the size of the business while maintaining our entrepreneurial and fun culture. They were also instrumental in helping us build one of the strongest management teams in animal health including adding some extraordinary board members that would've been difficult to attract without North Bridge's involvement."

To learn more about SmartPak, visit

About Henry Schein Animal Health

Henry Schein Animal Health is the U.S. animal health business of Henry Schein, Inc. Based in Dublin, Ohio, Henry Schein Animal Health is a leading companion animal health distribution company. The Company employs approximately 900 team members, including 300 field sales representatives and 200 telesales and customer support representatives. Henry Schein, Inc. holds approximately a 75 percent ownership share in Henry Schein Animal Health, U.S. The Ashkin family and certain members of the Henry Schein Animal Health leadership team own the Company’s remaining equity.

With 13 strategically located, state-of-the-art distribution facilities and 10 inside sales centers, the Company maintains a greater than a 99 percent order-fill ratio, accomplishing its mission of providing the right product at the right place and at the right time. Henry Schein Animal Health partners with over 480 channel suppliers to bring veterinarians the broadest selection of products to companion animal, equine and large animal practices including: dentistry, diagnostics, diets, equipment and supplies, nutraceuticals, orthopedics, parasiticides, pharmaceuticals and more. In addition, the Company helps veterinarians grow their practice with its strategic Business Solutions including AviMark® and ImproMed® Practice Management Software, Henry Schein® Financial Services, Henry Schein® ProRepair®, HRVetResource, Intelligent Inventory, Leadership Intelligence,® Home Delivery, Opperman Manual, Pet I.D. Cards, Privacy Edge Identify Theft Protection, Professional Development Program, VetPressOnline Client Communications, Veterinary Instrumentation®, website development and more. For more information, visit

In addition to Henry Schein, Inc.'s U.S. Animal Health business, the Company is the leading distributor to veterinary customers in Australia and New Zealand, as well as in 12 European countries, including Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In 2013, Henry Schein’s Global Animal Health business had sales of approximately $2.6 billion.

About Oak Hill Capital Partners

Oak Hill Capital Partners is a private equity firm with more than $8 billion of initial capital commitments from leading entrepreneurs, endowments, foundations, corporations, pension funds, and global financial institutions. Since inception 28 years ago, the professionals at Oak Hill Capital and its predecessors have invested in more than 70 significant private equity transactions across broad segments of the U.S. and global economies. Oak Hill Capital applies an industry-focused, theme-based approach to investing in the following sectors: Consumer, Retail & Distribution; Industrials; Media & Communications; and Services. Oak Hill Capital works actively in partnership with management to implement strategic and operational initiatives to create franchise value.

About SmartPak

From the feed room to the tack room, SmartPak offers innovative solutions to help riders take great care of their horses. SmartPak was founded in 1999 with the introduction of the patented SmartPak supplement feeding system. The revolutionary, daily dose SmartPaks are custom-made for your horse, individually labeled and sealed for freshness. With the success of this simple and convenient feeding system, SmartPak has continued to expand its offering of quality products, including its own line of more than 55 supplement formulas called SmartSupplements, and a wide variety of tack, equipment, and supplies. The company has grown rapidly each year and is now the largest retailer of equestrian products in the United States. SmartPak’s success has been powered by a passion for delivering an unbeatable customer experience, and the company has been recognized with a Bizrate Circle of Excellence award as well as an “Excellent” rating from STELLAService. A nine-time Inc. 500/5000 honoree, SmartPak is the only equine company ever named to the Inc. 500 list.

About North Bridge Growth Equity

North Bridge Growth Equity, a leading growth equity firm focused on emerging high-growth technology companies since 2007, is affiliated with North Bridge Venture Partners, a leading early-stage and start-up technology venture capital investor founded in 1994. With nearly $4 billion in capital currently under management, North Bridge collectively has invested in nearly 200 technology companies across five diversified sectors including healthcare, software, communications, materials and digital media. Select investments include Acquia, Demandware, Dyn, Humedica, Phase Forward, Proto Labs, RuffaloCody, and Valence Health. The firm has offices in Waltham, MA and Palo Alto, CA. To learn more about North Bridge go to Follow us at @North_Bridge.

North Bridge

Eric Jones, 917-488-4214

Source: North Bridge

For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel

Source: Business Wire

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters