Dr Gurpreet Sandhu recently sold his dental practice with the support of Dental Elite. We asked about the process and if Dr Sandhu has any advice for future sellers…
How did you come across Dental Elite?
I was made aware of Dental Elite when I attended a local seminar given by Luke Moore. I was very impressed with him and found him to be very professional, well informed and, more importantly, I found him to be approachable. As such, I made personal contact with him after the seminar and made arrangements for a valuation of my practice.
Luke quickly provided me with a very comprehensive valuation report. I chose Dental Elite even though I had a similar valuation from a different broker. This decision was based on the more comprehensive valuation from Luke, but also my personal preference for him to represent my practice sale.
How did you find the marketing and bidding process?
Dental Elite confidentially marketed the practice. They were excellent at vetting prospective buyers and set-up several viewings. When I received an offer at the asking price from a respectable buyer, Luke advised me to accept as he had dealt with the buyer in many other sales. I was happy to do so.
Did you face any challenges during the sale?
The due diligence process was a very arduous task, but I devoted my time fully to it and completed it in record time. Dental Elite had recommended Harrison Clark Rickerbys (HCR) Solicitors who were great – Mandeep from HCR aided me in the due diligence process immensely.
I did come up against a major disagreement during the sale process between myself and the buyer. This centered around how long I would need to stay in the practice post-sale, as well as the revenue I was expected to bring in during that time. Initially, one of the terms of the sale was that I remain at the practice for 3 years with one third of the sale proceeds dependent on my gross earnings. This needed to be re-negotiated as the figures of this retention were based on the practice’s overall gross income. I felt that was far too much pressure on myself.
Dental Elite partners intervened (Luke was away) and liaised with both parties to come to an acceptable agreement so that the sale process could continue smoothly. Mandeep helped to ensure that the retention was based on my earnings gross income instead, which is more achievable. I was very grateful for all their help at that stage.
How did you find the CQC change over process?
The support team at Dental Elite were amazing at sorting out all the CQC changeover requirements and associated paperwork. Bailey Rowles is still helping me with post-sale requirements.
How long did the process take?
The whole sale process was done very quickly in 4 months as the buyer pursues rapid purchases.
Do you have any advice for future vendors?
I have a few pieces of advice for others. Firstly, check that the terms for you remaining at the practice post-sale are viable and fair. As I have found, things change in practice post-sale and it is almost impossible for the vendor to have any control in the running and overall earnings of the practice. It could therefore become very stressful if you are required to meet high targets despite these changes. It’s especially difficult if you are looking for an easier life after the sale.
I would also recommend that future sellers really think about whether a potential buyer is right for you. New owners will have a very different way of running the practice and it can be frustrating when you see the ethos of the practice being changed. In my experience, selling to a corporate involves losing some of the practice autonomy, although all CQC requirements etc. are taken care of by a large network for efficiency. Whether this is right for vendors will depend on the individual. Overall, I would recommend selling to a group where you are able to set favourable terms early on as we did.
Would you recommend Dental Elite?
I am always recommending Dental Elite to my colleagues as I found them to be professional, knowledgeable of current conditions, very helpful and one of the market leaders in the practice sales market with excellent contacts in all avenues of the sale process. They also have a comprehensive team with great support staff. I am very happy with the help Dental Elite provided for me in the sale process and are still doing at present post-sale.