On December 1, 2023, Moore Equine Veterinary Centre Ltd., a renowned Alberta vet clinic located in Calgary, joined the Altano Group. The Altano Group is a world-wide organization of top equine veterinary practices. It is headquartered in Germany but has practices in Germany, Sweden, France, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, New Zealand, USA and now Canada.
While the merger was never a secret, many clients have been taken aback by the news. However, Chris Berezowski, CEO of Moore Equine, assured us the change will be very beneficial for the Canadian horse industry.
“It’s more of a merger than an acquisition,” says Berezowski DVM, MBA and Board Certified in Equine Reproduction (DACT). Berezowski is also an owner of Moore Equine, along with seven others, who will now also be owners in the Altano Group. These include Doctors; Greg Evans, Shawn Mattson, Erin Thompson, Jenn Fowlie, Jordan Cook, Shannon Lockhart and Katherine McDonald.
“It’s not a corporate strategy, it’s more of a co-operative with financial backing,” says Berezowski.
All of Moore Equine’s same services will continue to be offered to the public, staff will remain the same and the clinic (which has branches both north and south of Calgary) is planning on additional expansions.
“One of the real benefits and why we decided to join with Altano, is that it does help free up some resources financially,” Berezowski explains.
“When you get to be a practice of our size, it takes a lot of finances to add new things. We’re planning on a hospital expansion in our north location to help us continue to give our clients great patient care, but even more so,” the CEO says.
“For example, some of the newer diagnostic equipment like a standing CT – which western Canada could really use – is over a million dollars to purchase and install. That would have been financially challenging for us, but now as a group, the cost is more reasonable.”
Of course, there are many foreign shareholders in the Altano Group and it does have financial backing from a Swiss-based private equity group. Still, over 100 of the shareholders are veterinarians and it is very much veterinarian owned and operated. Additionally, Berezowski will serve on the management team for Altano North America as Chief Medical Officer. So in addition to his role at Moore Equine, he will be responsible for the veterinary aspect of the practices in North America
“We will be able to offer an improved experience for our clients and patients. Especially when people travel with their horses,” Berezowski states. “You will be able to experience the same level of care you expect in Calgary at places like California, Texas and Oklahoma for example – because many of those vet clinics are now part of the Altano Group as well.”
Even Desert Pines Equine in Las Vegas, NV – the official veterinarians of the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) – are part of the Altano Group. Moore Equine was the first practice in Canada to join, with McKee-Pownall in Ontario recently coming on board as well. Additionally, 20-30 other top equine practices in North America are expected to join the Altano Group in the next two years. Top practices in Australia are expected to merge in 2024.
“This merger will improve our services and provide a lot of stability for the practice going forward,” Berezowski explains.
“Moore has been around since 1951. By joining with the Altano Group, it will also make it easier for our vet owners to retire without putting any type of financial strain on the practice. We’ll have the stability to be around for the next generation. There are a lot of positives.”
– By Jenn Webster