VCA to Acquire Camp Bow Wow Chain
Camp Bow Wow founder and Chief Executive Heidi Ganahl shelved plans for a day-care business for dogs after her husband died in a plane crash 20 years ago.
Now, after leaving a career in pharmaceutical sales, creating two startups that sputtered and spending most of a million-dollar insurance settlement, Ms. Ganahl has reminted herself a millionaire. She has agreed to sell Camp Bow Wow to VCA Inc. and join the Los Angeles pet health-care company to plot Camp Bow Wow's expansion.
VCA, which has a stock market value of $3.3 billion, operates more than 600 animal hospitals and provides diagnostic services to others. Terms of the transaction weren't disclosed. Franchisers such as Camp Bow Wow often are bought for single-digit multiples of the yearly fees they receive from franchisees. Camp Bow Wow collected about $4 million in such fees last year.
As part of the deal, Ms. Ganahl plans to hire a president to run Camp Bow Wow's day-to-day operations, while she, as chief executive, focuses on strategy. Camp Bow Wow's core business offers day care for dogs at franchise-owned facilities, starting at about $25 a day, as well as overnight boarding for between $40 and $60 a night.