The sales process management
From the outset, BCMS provided a list of potential buyers for John: “The sale process was managed very well, and every stage progressed as first outlined.”
However, as many sellers know, the due diligence process can be the hardest: “The due diligence process felt quite wearing as the level of questioning was quite intense. The acquirer’s lawyers began asking for infinitesimal detail. In the grand scheme of things, I felt some of the questions were nit-picking and at times it felt like we were chasing our tail.”
“The impact on us running the business was almost nil. We separated the two tasks quite easily. I was also reliant on my manager, who managed all the day-to-day operations of the business.”
John went in to selling with a sale price and terms in mind: “The value certainly met and exceeded my expectations. BCMS and the solicitors worked very hard to achieve what I wanted.
“The market is complicated for pharmacies, particularly as the government introduced the 100 hours legislation, where anyone could open a pharmacy without much scrutiny. This impacted deal values tremendously, which is why I waited till this policy lapsed before choosing to market the business.”
The importance of confidentiality
“Confidentiality was hugely important to me. I play golf often with people that could have bought the business and so I knew a number of the people that came forward expressing an interest. We did have an instance where one potential purchaser did let slip that they were looking at acquiring the business while attending an industry function. This did get back to an acquaintance of mine, but ultimately it did not affect the sale.”
“All staff are staying with the business and that was very important to me. I’ve been in the business for 35 years and built up a tremendous amount of trust with staff over that time. The new owners took on the staff and they have respected these relationships. They kept our manager in place, which I’m also happy about.”
Life after sale
John didn’t want to be involved with the business post-sale: “We’ve bought a little cottage in Cornwall which we visit fairly regularly now. I have very little involvement with the business now and moving forward will be free of it completely. There are premises that I have across the road and I’m letting my tenants carry on there for a time.
I’m wanting to take time out to re-evaluate our lives. This is a very different situation. I’m thinking about putting the sale proceeds to work so I can generate additional income in the future.”