The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for June 21, 2002
Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Company Earnings Releases

>  Evialis reported first quarter 2002 sales of 204 million euros ($175 million), with growth of 8% over the comparable prior year period attributable to acquisitions in 2001.   (Animal Pharm)
>  Degussa reported that its feed additives business reached 570 million euros ($510 million), an increase of 16% over the prior year’s figures.  Methionine in particular performed well. (Animal Pharm)

Company News Releases

>  MWI Veterinary Supply Co. announced that it has a new majority investor, Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co., (BRS), that will be providing significant new capital to MWI primarily to fund future growth plans.  Agri Beef Co. will remain a substantial investor in MWI.  BRS is a private equity investment firm focused on high quality, middle market companies with strong market positions and growth potential.  MWI is the largest supplier of animal health products to the veterinary profession headquartered in the western United States.  (company communication)

>  The USDA gave marketing approval to Pfizer for FluSure, a bivalent (H1N1 and H3N2) swine influenza vaccine, as well as FluSure in combination with leading Pfizer vaccines—RespiSure-ONE and RespiSure for mycoplasmal pneumonia, and ER Bac Plus for erysipelas.  A combination vaccine for all three diseases is approved as is a RespiSure-ONE with ER Bac Plus combination.  (company press release)
>  Heska and Hill’s Pet Nutrition announced the signing of an exclusive co-marketing agreement aimed at providing veterinarians with a comprehensive program for diagnosing and treating kidney disease in dogs.  The Kidney Focus Campaign, which includes Hill’s Prescription Diets k/d and Heska’s ERD-Screen Urine Test, will educate veterinarians and pet owners on the importance of early screening for kidney disease.  (company press release)

>  The FDA recently approved Eazi-Breed CIDR Inserts for use in beef cows, beef heifers and dairy heifers.  The inserts are not approved for use in lactating dairy cattle. The Eazi-Breed CIDR Insert is a T-shaped device that is impregnated with progesterone.  Placed in the vagina of the animal, the Eazi-Breed CIDR Insert releases progesterone until it is removed seven days later.  The Eazi-Breed CIDR is marketed by Pharmacia Animal Health. (company press release)

>  eMerge Interactive announced that it plans to divest its cattle markets and focus on technology.  The company was originally established as a cattle marketing organization that relied on an electronic platform and evolved in recent years into a cattle management technology company that facilitates development of branded, high-quality beef programs.  The move was not unexpected since its cattle brokerages were already structured to operate outside the company and its cattle markets were draining margins.  (Feedstuffs)

>  Sound Technologies previewed the new SoundBook handheld, all-digital ultrasound,  along with the super-premium GE Logiq 9, at the recent ACVIM meeting in Dallas.  All systems feature GE’s patented Tru-Scan architecture, an all-digital modality that provides crisp, clear images and seamless image archival. Sound Technologies will release and market the SoundBook to the veterinary market in late 2002, but is already taking pre-orders to meet the unprecedented demand. Other Logiq Series ultrasound systems are currently available through Sound Technologies. (company press release)

                                             Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures

  >  Are you interested in growing your business by purchasing another company, product line or technology?

  >  Have you been thinking about selling your company, product line or technology?

  >  Have you considered merging your company with another firm to improve shareholder value?

In the past year, Brakke Consulting has been the finder of record, agent of record or consultant for several projects that have closed.  We have assisted with valuations and due diligence on confidential transactions, and provided executive counsel on a number of potential transactions.

Brakke Consulting has the experience, insight, abilities, and contacts that provide our clients with the highest quality services in the animal health, pet, veterinary, and specialty chemicals markets.  Please contact any of our offices for a confidential consultation on our range of services.  Contact information for all offices are available on our website at and click on a starred location on the world map.

Animal Health News

>  UKRAINE   The Ukraine has reported what could be its first case of BSE. Last week the village of Petrokorbovka in central Ukraine was placed under quarantine and six people taken to hospital after the diseased cow was discovered. Reports from the Ukraine say that the strain of BSE was different from that found elsewhere in Europe. The infected animal’s carcass was destroyed. Veterinary investigations into the reported outbreak are continuing.  (Wattnet Meatnews)

>  UK   Initial tests carried out for foot-and-mouth disease on a pig found with blisters in a central England slaughterhouse have proved negative.  Britain was declared free of the world’s worst foot-and-mouth outbreak in January this year by the world animal health body (OIE). (AnimalNet – Reuters)

>  US   A mule deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease, the first case in New Mexico and the southernmost discovery of the disease.  The deer was found hundreds of miles south of what had been thought to be the southernmost spread of the disease near Denver, Colorado. The positive test was confirmed Monday by the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory.  The disease has been present in the wild for decades in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming, but most of its recent spread has been linked to shipping infected domesticated deer and elk among game farms.  (AP)

>  CANADA   Nutratech Incorporated reported that the University of Manitoba has developed a nutritional supplement that acts as a natural alternative to antimicrobials. The animal feed supplement is derived from eggs produced by flocks of hens that have been vaccinated against specific bacteria.  The superimmunized hens deposit antibodies in their eggs, and the eggs are collected, dried and packaged.  Nutratech states that those who have had the opportunity to try the product in commercial settings have reported positive results. (AnimalNet – Farmscape)

>  US   Nearly 240 meat companies are profiled in Meat Processing’s annual report on the U.S. meat industry.  As expected, Tyson Foods is the largest U.S. meat processor with $24.5 billion in annual revenue. Tyson displaced ConAgra in the top spot due in a large part to its acquisition of beef and pork processor IBP. New to this year’s report is information on global product distribution and predictions of meat sales for the coming year. To access the full report, go to the home page and click on the “North American edition” button on the Meat Processing Magazine icon on the left-hand side of the screen, then click the “Top 200” icon. (Wattnet Meatnews)

>  US   A Franklin veterinarian who thinks pet owners want more convenience in their lives is opening a clinic with a drive-through window. The Animal Ark Animal Hospital opening next week is a full-service clinic offering a drive-through care window and door for picking up and dropping off Fido and Fluffy.  The clinic’s owner got the idea after seeing it once in a trade magazine.  The clinic also has standard entrances for dogs and cats.  (AP)

Agribusiness News

>  THAILAND    The Thai health ministry has banned the use of four antibiotics used on farms because of fears over cancer. The four antibiotics (nitrofurazone, furazolidone, demetridazole and ronidazole) are sold under various trade names. The Thai health ministry said it was concerned that the drugs could remain in the meat and other animal products and enter the human food chain. Use of the antibiotics carries a fine of between Baht1,000 – 10,000 ($25 – 250). The health ministry has also restricted the use of chloramphenicol, a systemic antibiotic. (Wattnet Meatnews)

Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

We regard the announcement by MWI of the sale of a majority interest of their equity to a large respected financial firm as a proactive move by management and ownership to be a leading player in the distribution consolidation that will continue to occur.  In the past few years, MWI has become a major player in US animal health distribution business and is likely to accelerate their growth with this new access to capital for acquisitions.  Congratulations MWI.

We continue to be impressed with the early field sales growth reports of the leading companies for the first two quarters.  We look forward to the actual sales reports that will start appearing in a few weeks. We assume that all of these sales reports will reflect actual use of product in the field and not more loading of the trade.

Have a great weekend.

[Ron Brakke]

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