VCA Antech Inc. on Wednesday said that it has acquired Associate Veterinary Clinics, operator of the largest network of animal hospitals in Canada.

AVC is based in Calgary, Alberta, and operates 44 hospitals in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario that generate annual revenue of about $95 million. VCA Chief Executive Bob Antin noted that the deal was a logical progression of his company’s relationship with AVC since VCA made its first investment in the company in January 2008.

“After this transaction, our investment will total approximately $77 million,” said Antin in a statement. “We plan to make additional investments in AVC, which will facilitate the company’s continued expansion in the Canadian market.”

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the month. The combined companies will operate about 585 animal hospitals in 41 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. AVC’s managers will continue in their current roles.

VCA shares were up 7 cents, or less than a percent, to $20.32 in midday trading on the Nasdaq.

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