Priory Lodge Vets was recently purchased by employee-owned Pennard Vets, which has seven practices across Kent.

Victoria Sampson
Corporate and Commercial
Tunbridge Wells
Dr Abby Pye, Practice Principal

Based in Tonbridge, Priory Lodge Vets was established more than 70 years ago and today boasts a dedicated team of 20 employees, who care for more than 4,500 pets.

Dr Abby Pye and Dr Dirk Brink recently sold the business to Pennard Vets.

Priory Lodge Vets was recently purchased by employee-owned Pennard Vets, which has seven practices across Kent.

The vendors at Priory Lodge Vets - veterinary surgeons, Dr Abby Pye and Dr Dirk Brink were advised by the Corporate team at CooperBurnett LLP. Partner Victoria Sampson led the deal in the latter stages, alongside Senior Paralegal Carla Loveday and Paralegal Iola Palmer-Stirling. Partner Jonathan Rowe from our Commercial Property team dealt with the property aspects emanating from the transaction, including the lease back of the building.

Dirk, who qualified from Onderstepoort in South Africa in 1992, joined Priory Lodge Vets in 1995 and became a partner in 2001. Abby qualified from Cambridge University Vet School in 2003, joined Priory Lodge Vets in 2004 and became a partner in 2017. They will continue to lead the practice.

“We were delighted to support Abby and Dirk in this deal,” says Victoria Sampson, Partner and Head of the Corporate & Commercial team. “It will give continuity to the team and customers at Priory Lodge Vets, while allowing customers to enjoy the benefits of being part of a larger group.”

She adds: “Here at CooperBurnett, we have built expertise in veterinary practice M&A over the years and, using that knowledge, the team was there to guide our clients through every aspect of the deal, holding their hands throughout.”

Here we ask Dr Abby Pye, more about the support CooperBurnett LLP provided to her and Dr Dirk Brink, during the sale of Priory Lodge Vets:

When did you first start working with CooperBurnett?

“We started working with CooperBurnett in 2021, when they helped us with general legal matters including our lease and shareholders agreement. Then, when we decided to sell the company, they were an obvious choice as we already knew the team and our accountant (Josh Curties from A4G) highly recommended them.”

What support does CooperBurnett give you during the transaction?

“Andrew Hawkins and Carla Loveday worked tirelessly on the Share Purchase Agreement and Jonathan Rowe worked on the lease. We also had lots of advice regarding our new contracts and our new roles in the business.

Unfortunately, Andrew wasn't able to stay and complete the deal but Victoria Sampson very ably stepped in. Victoria had her work cut out for her in getting the deal over the line as there were a number of obstacles - it wouldn't have happened without her!”

What would you say to another business looking to work with CooperBurnett?

“We found CooperBurnett to be friendly, professional and extremely approachable. The whole team worked well together and we always felt well supported. Emails and calls were always answered promptly and we never felt as though we were being a nuisance, although I suspect that, at times, we were! We had absolute confidence in all the team throughout the whole process.”

To discover more about becoming a CooperBurnett client, call us on: 01892 515022

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