Chocolate king Mars Inc. has made a $7.7 billion offer for veterinary care company VCA Inc. Mars is banking on the growth of the animal care industry, given the recent lull in the packaged foods market. Mars is paying a 30 percent premium ($93) on what VCA stock had been trading at for the past few months. VCA has witnessed strong growth as pet care spend in the US has almost doubled in the past half-decade. Mars is hoping that the acquisition will help the sale of its animal food brands, while also adding to the number of its animal hospitals. Its recent expansion into the pet care market includes its acquisition of animal food brands from Procter & Gamble, Banfield Pet Hospital and BluePearl Veterinary Partners. Mars is already the largest pet care and pet food brand in the world, but the deal is not expected to face regulatory hurdles.