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Selling your veterinary practice?

In our experience, it is never too early to start discussing your options with an experienced advisor.

Finding the right advisors, those who understand you, your business and the veterinary practice market, with a track record for delivering a successful sale is crucial.

Our approach is straightforward. We take the time to understand you, your practice, what you want to achieve and using our in-depth knowledge of your market, we will identify the right buyer and then structure and conclude your deal.

The Veterinary Practice Market 

Many owners of veterinary practices see the current high level of acquisition activity as an opportunity to maximise the value of their practice on sale, as their exit strategy. The combination of high multiples being paid for practices and an effective tax rate of 10%, thanks to the availability of entrepreneurs relief, makes selling your practice at this point in time, highly attractive. 

The market is being driven by a number of consolidators who are mostly either backed by private equity funds or quoted companies. Indeed, consolidation is taking place at all levels and the acquirers themselves have changed hands in recent months as they move to the next stage of their acquisition strategy. 

Bates Weston 

As a corporate finance team, we have been advising business owners, across the UK,  for over 20 years.  We have the advantage over many other advisors in the veterinary sector as we maintain close contact with the potential buyers for independent practices. This contact is both at board level and with their funders. This understanding of the buyers purchase criteria and goals makes us well placed to be able to drive multiples for your practice and run the sale process effectively.

Our team are all chartered accountants, who have advised both large corporate and private equity funds on their acquisitions in the veterinary market as well as advising owners of independent practices on their sale. This has covered businesses focusing on companion animals, large/farm animals and equine. 

The Sale Process 

Each sale process is tailored to your individual practice, its operations, location and your longer term plans. To maximise the value of your practice on sale, it is important that we bring out all the relevant points of your business that are likely to be of interest to buyers. Our up to date knowledge of the buyers’ strategies will be key. 

The information provided to buyers must strike the right balance between being sufficient for them to be able to value your business but not commercially sensitive. We will have been through all your information, particularly on trading performance and forecasts to ensure it stands up to due diligence. 

We coordinate the marketing phase of the process which is likely to include meetings with interested parties. Following this, perhaps the most crucial part of the process, the bidding stage, takes place. Our role will be to ensure that we generate a competitive bidding process and ensure that we ultimately achieve the best deal for you. 

Once heads of terms are agreed with your preferred buyer, we will coordinate the financial due diligence for you. We will also review the legal documentation from a financial and tax perspective and ensure that issues are resolved in conjunction with your legal team. 

If you would like to discuss your plans for your practice, without obligation, please do call Chris Jones 01332 365855 or email chrisj@batesweston.co.uk. 

In the meantime, it may be helpful to have an insight into the factors you might consider when looking at the sale of your business. 

To prepare your practice for sale, we can help you consider the following: 

  • Is the timing right? 
    • Consolidation is taking place within the veterinary practice market
    • There are a number of well funded trade buyers and private equity platforms looking to acquire
    • Entrepreneurs relief is currently available on sale 
  • The key factors in a successful sale 
    • Demonstrating underlying levels of profitability
    • Demographic trends and development plans of area
    • Competitive environment 
    • Qualified &  experienced staff with varied specialisms
  • The day to day running of the business 
    • Management structure
    • Your role
    • Source of referrals
    • Plans post sales (retirement, alternative projects) 
  • The likely value and deal structure that can be achieved 

You may also find an outline of our process useful. Each transaction is unique and we would tailor our approach to reflect your own circumstances.

  • Agree a valuation target
  • Prepare an information memorandum
  • Identify and approach potential acquirers
  • Manage the bidding process, culminating in agreeing the heads of terms with the preferred bidder
  • Manage the due diligence process
  • Liaise with your legal advisors and negotiate the contract
  • Our specialist tax team provide personal and corporate tax support.

It is never too early to start planning for your ultimate exit.  If you would like to discuss your own plans with our team, without obligation, please contact Chris Jones chrisj@batesweston.co.uk.