Kent veterinary group becomes an employee ownership trust (EOT)

News Posted 24/09/21
Kent-based veterinary group Pennard Vets has celebrated becoming the largest practice in the world to become employee-owned, which, the team say, will protect both its independence and 125-year-old core values.

Pennard Vets, which was founded in 1895, embarked on becoming an employee ownership trust (EOT) earlier this year, meaning all 99 members of its team, who work across six sites in Allington, Borough Green, Langley Park, Maidstone, Sevenoaks and Tonbridge, are now practice owners and shareholders in the business.

The group celebrated the completion of the EOT earlier this month at a BBQ and party held at Hadlow Manor Hotel in Tonbridge.

Pennard Vets’ three previous sole directors, comprising Matthew Flann, Caroline Collins and Andy Green (all pictured), all worked as vets at the practice for several years before becoming part of the leadership team in 2007, and the trio will all continue to work in the business following the EOT transfer.

Andy said: “At a time when many other practices are being taken over by large corporate organisations, we knew that the EOT was the right way to guarantee an independent future for our 99 team members.

“Although we received plenty of interest and offers from the corporates, it was important to remain true to ourselves and our values.

“It is increasingly difficult for vets to buy into independent practices and the traditional partner progression model no longer works, so after exploring various possibilities, it became clear that the EOT option was ideal for us and protects everything that we stand for.

“Crucially, it also means Pennard Vets won’t be taken over and gives everyone in our team both autonomy and a voice, as well as safeguarding our fundamental core values that are built around compassion, client focus and continually improving everything we do.

“There’s no doubt this will further enhance the high standard of care that our clients enjoy and is also helping us to grow our team and attract new talent.

“As we expand our practice across Kent, we’re recruiting both vets and nurses. Every new team member becomes an employee owner and can influence the decisions we make for the future of our practice.

“Our people are helping to shape our employee benefits scheme and influence how we reinvest profits in a forward-thinking practice that will remain independent.

“This is proving very attractive to new members of the team, which makes it a really exciting and rewarding time for us.”

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