Merck Animal Health, a division of Rahway-based Merck & Co. Inc., announced Sept. 22 it signed a definitive agreement to acquire livestock management provider Vence.
A privately held company, Vence specializes in virtual fencing for rotational grazing and livestock management. Its technology allows producers and ranchers to track, monitor and manage their cattle using a computer or smartphone.
By eliminating physical fencing, ranchers can reduce the costs of labor and materials. On its website, Vence shared the story of a New Zealand livestock operation that estimated that before virtual fencing, more than 30% of total costs of the farm were associated with animal management. This family’s need to cut expenses led to the launch of Vence.
Currently, the company’s technology is available in the U.S. and parts of Australia. According to its LinkedIn page, Vence is based in San Diego.
“The acquisition of Vence will broaden our portfolio with complementary products and technologies to advance animal health and well-being as well as outcomes for our customers,” Rick DeLuca, president of Merck Animal Health, said in a statement. “Vence is a natural fit with Merck Animal Health’s growing portfolio of animal intelligence products that include identification, traceability and monitoring products.”
Vence founder and CEO Frank Wooten said Merck Animal Health “is the best long-term home for this technology and our team.”
“[Merck Animal Health’s] unparalleled expertise in the livestock space, ability to develop and scale hardware products, high-quality customer support, and a strong global footprint to expand Vence’s market reach make us really excited to join Merck Animal Health,” Wooten added.