PURR-FECT PRICE: Two Gympie vet clinics have sold for $4.9 million.
PURR-FECT PRICE: Two Gympie vet clinics have sold for $4.9 million. Jeng_Niamwhan

Beloved Gympie business sells for $5 million

TWO Gympie veterinary clinics have become part of a major nationwide animal health company in the wake of a $4.9 million deal.

Apiam Animal Health is the new owner of the Gympie and Tin Can Bay clinics of Gympie and District Veterinary Services.

Their veterinarians join a wider group of more than 160 under the company.

It is the latest step in a rapid run for AAH founder Chris Richards, whose keen interest in farming and animals when he was young has grown into an ASX-listed company.

Production animals were a particular interest, Dr Richards said.

"It was about trying to identify why animals died, or weren't performing as well as they could," he said.


Dr Chris Richards
Dr Chris Richards Contributed

He opened his first practice in 1998 and formed Apiam in 2015, acquiring 12 of the largest production veterinary clinics in Australia. The company now owns 43 clinics across Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania and is listed on the ASX exchange.

Dr Richards said the "culture" of the Gympie clinic was what caught their eye.

"It's obviously an extremely well-respected veterinary clinic in south-east Queensland," he said.

"It has a very good culture. It's why it was recommended to us."

Dr Richards said where once pet owners may have had to drive to the Sunshine Coast for some services, the plan was to bring those services to the region.


Australian Vets Association recommend avoiding using sticks as toys for dogs. Peak Crossing dog breeder Robyn Outen-Scott's German Shepherd dog Dizzy. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times
Apiam hopes to expand services for the region's household pet owners. David Nielsen

"The clinics are collectively using their knowledge to increase their service and skill," he said.

Dr Richards also cited plans to expand the services available for production animals.

He was particularly excited by the possibility of expanding into the South Burnett.

The purchase also opened the door for them to offer services to the Queensland dairy industry.

Dr Richards said this was all part of his hope to take the industry to somewhere new, and "identify what the challenges will be for clients going into the future".

"And then develop a program to meet those challenges."