Vets Plus pursues next phase of growth
US company Vets Plus has been building its commercial team and embarking on a revitalized growth strategy since the addition of Paul Hays as its new chief executive in late 2022. Mr Hays spoke to S&P Global analyst Anoop Menon about the company’s plans ahead.
Paul Hays joined Vets Plus in November 2022 as part of a series of senior executive team appointments, including Dave Nelson as chief operating officer and Adam Mrozowsky as chief financial officer.
An animal health industry veteran with over 35 years of
experience, Mr Hays has previously worked at Novartis Animal
Health, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health and Virbac, as well as the global veterinary diagnostics business of Pfizer Animal Health. He has served as board director at Vets Plus since 2021 and was chief executive of US veterinary medicines manufacturer Med-Pharmex.
He led the expansion of Virbac’s North American commercial footprint and oversaw significant improvements to the firm’s quality management capabilities. As an executive team member at Synbiotics, he played a key role in a financial turnaround and sale to Pfizer and led its integration into the latter’s global business.
Vets Plus was founded in 1990 by Rajiv Lall as a producer of dairy calf supplements. Since then, the business has expanded significantly to include three manufacturing facilities producing nutraceuticals and spanning around 220,000 square feet, with two at its headquarters in Menomonie, Wisconsin. It also has a 50,000-square-foot drug manufacturing facility as part of its Noble Pharma subsidiary to produce medicated soft chews.
Mr Hays noted: “We are currently working on some drug products to come out from Noble Pharma and are already contract manufacturing a drug product at the facility.”
The company made its entry into the companion animal space in 1996 and the sector has now become of key importance to Vets Plus. Pet products currently account for around 70% of its portfolio. Vets Plus hit another milestone with the introduction of Probios brand probiotic supplements for pets in partnership with Chr Hansen in 2002.
Mr Hays noted: “We exclusively take Chr Hansen probiotics and develop those into dose unit forms, from soft chews to extruded chews, powders and other formulations. The company has a strong footing in the innovation area and the highest levels of quality and compliance. Vets Plus was, in fact, the very first animal health company to gain Safe Quality Food certification and today we have the highest level of certification for that.”