Pennard Vets, which has clinics in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Maidstone, becomes employee owned

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A veterinary group, which started in Kent more than 125 years ago, has become the largest employee-owned practice in the world.

Pennard Vets, which started in Sevenoaks in 1895 and now has clinics in Allington, Borough Green, Langley Park, Maidstone, Sevenoaks and Tonbridge, is now owned by all 99 members of its team.

Caroline Collins, Matthew Flann and Andy Green from Pennard Vets
Caroline Collins, Matthew Flann and Andy Green from Pennard Vets

It started the process of becoming an employee ownership trust (EOT) earlier this year and completed the process this month.

Its previous sole directors, Matthew Flann, Caroline Collins and Andy Green, 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 Green 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.

The team at Pennard Vets
The team at Pennard Vets

“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."

And it says it has plans to expand across Kent – and is on the hunt for new vets and nurses.

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