Vets First Choice, a fast-growing Portland company that provides technology-enabled health care services for pets and veterinary practitioners, announced Thursday its new name once its merger with a company based in New York is complete.

Henry Schein Inc. of Melville, New York, and Vets First Choice in a news release announced that their new standalone public company will be named Covetrus. The proposed merger should be finalized in the first quarter of 2019.

“It was important to create a new brand and new name that demonstrates our long-term commitment for veterinary practice customers to always be at the center of our business,” Benjamin Shaw, founder and CEO of Vets First Choice, said in the release. “We are committed to advancing the world of veterinary medicine by empowering our customers with compelling new capabilities and services to drive new health and financial outcomes.”

Shaw will serve as Covetrus’ new chief executive officer. The company intends to become a global, technology-enabled animal health business that supports the companion, equine and large animal veterinary markets.

Vets First Choice received city approval this fall to build a five-story, 170,000-square-foot headquarters in downtown Portland. The facility is expected to provide office space, a pharmacy, fulfillment center, and software and data science labs. It is designed to have space for 1,500 employees.

In April, Vets First Choice announced it would merge with Henry Schein in a process that would take the company public.

According to the release, Covetrus will employ more than 5,000 employees across 25 countries, and estimates it will serve 100,000 customers in North America, Europe, Australia and South America.

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