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Nestle buys minority stake in EQT's vet services group IVC

FILE PHOTO: The Nestle logo is seen during the opening of the 151st Annual General Meeting of Nestle in Lausanne, Switzerland April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Nestle (NESN.S) will buy a minority stake in Independent Vetcare Group International from EQT as part of an information-sharing tie-up between Nestle Purina PetCare and Europe's largest veterinary services firm, Nestle and EQT said on Monday.

They did not give terms of the deal, under which British-based IVC will remain an independent business majority owned by private equity group EQT.

IVC has a network of more than 1,100 vet clinics and hospitals across 10 countries, serving more than two million pet owners, Nestle said in a statement.

"Deeper knowledge of pets' and pet owners' needs will enhance Nestle Purina's ability to develop innovative products and solutions tailored to meet the specific needs of cats and dogs," it said.

The deal requires regulatory approval.

IVC was valued at 3 billion euros ($3.38 billion) in February when EQT sold 20 percent of the company to Swedish institutional investors. EQT said it remains committed to invest in IVC's growth.

($1 = 0.8883 euros)

(The story is refiled to make clear that Nestle, not its Purina arm, will acquire stake)

(Reporting by Michael Shields and Esha Vaish; Editing by Jan Harvey)