A successful national veterinary group is set to grow its presence in the North East after completing the acquisition of a longstanding Washington practice.

Medivet Group has purchased the Dragon Veterinary Centre in Concord from owners Andrew and Julie Henfrey for an undisclosed sum and is now looking at completing a number of further acquisitions around the region.

Andrew and Julie are staying with the practice, along with the rest of its expert team.

Mark Adams and Ben Jackson of the corporate team at Hay & Kilner Law Firm in Newcastle provided legal advice to the Henfreys on the transaction.

Originally founded in London, Medivet Group is a veterinary-owned and led group of more than 350 branches which operate on a partnership basis, and also has 24 state-of-the art, 24-hour veterinary centres across the UK.

It has been gradually building its presence in the north of England in recent years and already owns practices in locations including York, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon and Thirsk.

Dr Ben Hanning, Director of Acquisitions at Medivet Group, says: “The North East is a priority area for us as we continue to build towards becoming a truly national operator and we’re very pleased to have made such a well-regarded practice our first acquisition in the region.

“We operate on a successful “hub and spoke” model, which allows smaller practices to access the very best specialists, diagnostics and treatments through a nationwide network of 24-hour hospitals and centres, all while the consultation and client support is managed through the local team.

“The people and personalities are absolutely central to the acquisitions we choose to make, and from the very first time we met them, it was clear that Andrew and Julie shared the same priorities with us.

“As well as being expert practitioners, they’re also passionate about customer care, training and skills improvement and have a very well-deserved reputation for the quality of service that they and their team deliver.

“We have a number of other acquisition opportunities already in the pipeline and are confident that this is the first step in establishing the Medivet group right across the North East.”

Andrew and Julie Henfrey have been working in the Washington area for over 25 years and set up Dragon Vets in 2005.

Most of its clients are companion animals, but it also has a national reputation for its dermatology services and receives referrals from other practices right across the region.

Andrew Henfrey adds: “The fact that Medivet is owned and operated by veterinarians was very attractive to us in terms of ensuring our clients would continue to receive the very best standards of care, while its equity partnership model offers a clear route to succession planning for our team when the time comes for us to retire.

“We’re very pleased to be part of the Medivet team and excited by the benefits that it will bring for our team, our clients and the animals that they all care for.

“This is the right time for us to be making this change and the Hay & Kilner team’s support was central in ensuring that everything was completed quickly, smoothly and to all parties’ satisfaction.”

Mark Adams, partner at Hay & Kilner Law Firm, says: “Andrew and Julie have built up a highly-regarded and very successful practice, and we’re extremely pleased to have now helped them reach both their personal and commercial objectives.”