A new publicly traded company that will launch in Portland on Friday plans to bring 1,200 new jobs to a downtown headquarters that is under construction, bolstering the area’s reputation as a growing hub for the animal health industry.

Benjamin Shaw, the president and CEO of Covetrus Inc., celebrated the listing of its stock Friday by ringing the opening bell of the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York’s Times Square.

Shaw, the former head of Vets First Choice, sees the creation of Covetrus not as the culmination of nearly a decade of company-building, but as the starting point for a new venture that aims to dominate the global animal health landscape with a broad suite of technology products and services.

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