In June 2004, the Company changed its corporate name from Patterson Dental Company to Patterson Companies, Inc. (“Patterson” or the “Company”). Patterson retained its existing Nasdaq stock symbol—PDCO. The corporate name change was adopted to reflect Patterson’s expanding base of business, which now encompasses the veterinary and rehabilitation supply markets, as well as its traditional base of operations in the dental supply market. Patterson’s operating units include Patterson Dental, Webster Veterinary and Patterson Medical.
Patterson is a value-added distributor serving three major markets:
•North American dental supply;
•U.S. companion-pet (dogs, cats and other common household pets) and equine veterinary supply;
•And the worldwide rehabilitation and assistive products supply market.
Unless otherwise indicated, all references to Patterson or the Company include its subsidiaries: Patterson Dental Holdings, Inc., Direct Dental Supply Co., Patterson Dental Canada Inc., Patterson Dental Supply, Inc., Webster Veterinary Supply, Inc., PDC Funding Company, LLC, PDC Funding Company II, LLC, Patterson Technology Center, Inc., Patterson Office Supplies, Inc., Webster Management LP, Patterson Medical Holdings, Inc., Patterson Medical Supply, Inc., Sammons Preston Canada, Inc., Tumble Forms, Inc., Midland Manufacturing Company Inc., Patterson Logistics Services, Inc., Accu-Bite, Inc., Accu-Bite Products Limited Liability Company, Williamston Industrial Center, LLC, Strategic Dental Marketing, Inc., Homecraft Rolyan Limited, Patterson Medical Ltd., Mobilis Healthcare Group Ltd., Halo Healthcare Ltd., County Footwear Ltd., Archway Distribution Inc., Arco Dental Inc., Provi-Modern Medical International Inc. Columbus Serum Company, CSC High Plains, LLC, CSC South, LLC, Dolphin Imaging Systems, LLC, Dolphin Practice Management, LLC and Kinetec SA.
Patterson began distributing dental supplies in 1877. The modern history of the business dates to May 1985, when the Company’s management and certain investors purchased the Company from a subsidiary of The Beatrice Companies, Inc. Patterson became a publicly traded company in October 1992. The Company is a corporation organized under the laws of the state of Minnesota.
The Company historically reported one operating segment, dental supply. In July 2001, the Company purchased the veterinary supply assets of J. A. Webster, Inc., which became a reportable business segment. Then in September 2003, the Company acquired AbilityOne Products Corp., creating a third business segment which serves the rehabilitation supply market.
The Company’s three reportable segments, dental supply, veterinary supply and rehabilitation supply, are strategic business units that offer similar products and services to different customer bases. Each business is a market leader with a strong competitive position, serves a fragmented market that offers consolidation opportunities and offers relatively low-cost consumable supplies, making the Company’s value-added business proposition highly attractive to customers.
Shared Services Initiative
The Company has continued to consolidate its distribution infrastructure and business systems over the past several years. With respect to the distribution infrastructure, beginning in fiscal 2005, the consolidation of facilities began with a facility in Columbia, SC that replaced the individual dental and veterinary distribution centers that were serving this region. As of April 25, 2009, there are seven facilities that serve two or three of the Company’s business units. These strategically located facilities enable the Company to realize operating efficiencies and improve customer service.
In fiscal 2008, the first shared sales branch office locations were established, enabling multiple business units to operate at one physical location. As of April 25, 2009, there are four shared locations and the Company plans to leverage additional branch sharing between two or three business units in select markets in fiscal 2010 and beyond.
The Patterson Technology Center (“PTC”) has staff dedicated to the support of the technology offerings of each of the Company’s business units. Such technology product and service offerings have expanded in recent years and will continue to be a focus of the Company. The PTC supports over 45,000 customers nationwide, with a goal to resolve any situation in one call, whether the question or concern involves hardware, software, computer networking or digital technology. In addition, the PTC provides network installation, customer training and develops customer order entry systems for the Company’s businesses.
As Patterson’s largest business, Patterson Dental is one of the two largest distributors of dental products in North America. The business has operations in the United States and Canada. Patterson Dental, a full-service, value-added supplier to dentists, dental laboratories, institutions, and other healthcare professionals, provides: consumable products (including x-ray film, restorative materials, hand instruments and sterilization products); basic and advanced technology dental equipment; practice management and clinical software; patient education systems; and office forms and stationery. Patterson Dental offers its customers a broad selection of dental products including more than 90,000 stock keeping units (“SKUs”) of which approximately 4,000 are private-label products sold under the Patterson name. Patterson Dental also offers customers a full range of related services including dental equipment installation, maintenance and repair, dental office design and equipment financing. Patterson Dental markets its dental products and services through approximately 1,500 direct sales representatives, 279 of whom are equipment specialists.
Patterson Dental has over 125 years of experience providing quality service to dental professionals.
Webster Veterinary, or “Webster,” is the leading distributor of veterinary supplies to companion-animal (dogs, cats and other common household pets) veterinary clinics in the eastern United States. Management believes Webster is the second largest distributor of companion-animal veterinary supplies nationally. In addition, through its fiscal 2005 acquisition of Milburn Distributions, Inc., Webster is the leading national equine distributor in the United States. Webster provides products used for the diagnosis, treatment and/or prevention of diseases in companion pets and equine animals. Founded in 1946 and headquartered in Sterling, Massachusetts, Webster has developed a strong brand identity as a value-added, full-service distributor of a virtually complete range of consumable supplies, equipment, diagnostic supplies, biologicals (vaccines) and pharmaceuticals. Webster’s product offering, totaling more than 11,000 items, is sold by approximately 235 field sales representatives. In addition to its core business of distributing veterinary products, Webster has a significant agency commission business with a few large pharmaceutical manufacturers. Under the agency relationships, Webster typically earns a commission for soliciting orders through its sales force. In the agency relationship, Webster processes the order to the manufacturer but handles none of the product nor does Webster bill and collect from the customer. The agency commissions that Webster earns range from 3% to 10%, a portion of which is shared with the direct sales personnel. Webster’s agency commissions accounted for less than 1% of its net sales in fiscal 2009. Net sales by Webster in fiscal 2009 were $550.6 million. Operating income totaled $26.1 million.
Patterson Medical is headquartered in Bolingbrook, Illinois and is the world’s leading distributor of rehabilitation medical supplies and non-wheelchair assistive products. Patterson Medical believes it offers the most comprehensive range of distributed and self-manufactured rehabilitation products to health care professionals globally. Its mission is to provide health care professionals and their patients with access to products that improve peoples’ lives by helping them to attain their highest achievable level of independence, safety and comfort. Patterson Medical operates as Sammons Preston and Medco Sports Medicine in North America and Homecraft in international markets.
Patterson Medical serves as the gateway through which over 30,000 rehabilitation products originating from more than 2,000 suppliers and manufacturers are sold to a diverse customer base with an emphasis on physical therapists (“PTs”) and occupational therapists (“OTs”). It offers its customers a “one-stop shop” through what it believes to be the most comprehensive catalog in the industry, the largest direct sales force and the category’s most efficient customer service and distribution operations. Major channels of distribution are acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation clinics, dealers and schools. In addition, Patterson believes Patterson Medical’s reputation, global market presence and highly transferable business model will facilitate entry into new markets.
Patterson Medical offers a wide range of differentiated, non-invasive products and expertise to users and their health care providers, while focusing on niches, worldwide, where its capabilities, reputation and customer partnerships can result in a competitive advantage. Its goal is to become its customers’ first choice for rehabilitation medical supplies and assistive products in each of its chosen markets.
As of April 25, 2009, the Company had approximately 7,010 employees. Patterson has not experienced a shortage of qualified personnel in the past, and believes that it will be able to attract such employees in the future. None of Patterson’s employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements or represented by a union. The Company considers its relations with its employees to be good.