Ian Clift, a dentist with over 30 years’ experience, reflects on the recent sale of his dental practice.
Which consultant from Dental Elite did you work with?
“It was Alison Willcock who I worked with on the sale of my practice, and she was very good.”
Was she helpful and in regular contact?
“Alison was extremely supportive and accommodating, taking care to keep me up to date with the latest developments from the solicitors and the other party. There’s always a lot going on during the sale, especially in the beginning, but having Alison around to act as the mediator and provide advice certainly took the heat off.”
How quickly did you accept an offer?
“Although I had several interested parties only one gave a sensible offer that met my expectations, so I accepted that bid immediately.”
What was the most challenging part of your sale?
“Really it was just the sheer amount of time that the transaction took (a year), as it became disheartening in the end. There were delays with the CQC application as a result of switching from a share sale to an asset sale during the process. If the appropriate preparation had been done earlier it wouldn’t have caused such a problem, but as it was the various changes had to be made during the sale, and that in turn caused a few problems for the buyers when trying to secure finance.
“My solicitors didn’t help either, as there appeared to be no urgency to resolve the issue quickly. Instead, they left it to near the end of the process to ask questions that they should have really done much earlier on. I must say, however, that none of these problems were Dental Elite’s fault, and I was very fortunate to have Alison by my side to fight my corner.”
What advice would you give to future sellers?
“Using the power of hindsight I would advise any vendor to ensure that the type of sale is clarified in the very beginning, and stay mindful of the impact this can have on the CQC application. At the time I didn’t understand the implications of the sale type on the outcome, but if I’d known in advance I could have made the necessary preparations.
“In regards to due diligence I’d always suggest making a start as soon as possible, because although it wasn’t the case with my sale the process can slow the sale down. Mine actually only took a week in the end, as Alison had provided me with all the details early on about what documents would be needed.”
Why did you choose Dental Elite?
“A colleague had recommended Dental Elite to me, and I’d heard good things about the service so I decided to give the agency a try – I wasn’t disappointed.”
How far in advance of marketing did you have a valuation?
“From having a valuation to going to market it took a month.”