Vendor’s Story – £150,000 – London

Details of a deal done late in 2023   
Fees sold£150,000WhereLondon
QualifiedQBEAge76
Time scale2 weeksType of PracticeSole practitioner
PaymentOne off paymentHow paidNo clawback
Multiple0.35When paidPaid fully on completion
Offers4 offersOffice & staffNo office, staff did not move to buyer
ResultsVendor had terminal cancer and sadly passed away soon after completion

I first met this vendor when I was doing a presentation at a seminar about things to think about when selling your practice.  It was many years ago but made very memorable by the fire alarm going off soon after I started my talk and spending a couple of hours freezing cold in the car park at the Fire Assembly Point.  When we were allowed back into the room my time had expired and I had to pack up and leave.   The only thing I gained on that day was a lot of sympathy.

Several years later this vendor got in touch and we both recalled and laughed about the above incident.  He wanted to talk to me about his options.  Should he stay on and work for a few more years or sell now and retire?  

I was able to help him to look at the merits of each and we ended up deciding that he should stay on for a few more years.  At that point his health was good, he loved his job and the clients were not too difficult to deal with.  He could have afforded to stop but he did not want to, so he didn’t.

Roll on three years.  His 2 part time staff are still there.  He has survived a crypto attack where his computers were hacked.   He lost a lot of information and was working hard to retrieve it.  He said it was the fault of his IT guy and he was not very happy.  We went through in more detail how the process worked and he said he was now ready to move things forward, so I sent him our questionnaire to fill in.

Before we got the paperwork back, the vendor called me to say he had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, that was terminal, so we now had to treat the sale with a matter of urgency. 

We contacted some potential buyers that were known to us.  The buyers were interviewed for suitability and had to provide us with proof of funding.  There were four potential buyers.  The vendor was not well enough to meet with all the buyers in the same day.  So we arranged for each of the buyers to have a Zoom call late in the afternoon when the staff had gone home.  This allowed for the vendor to have a rest and not be over-tired. I hosted each of these Zoom calls to take any pressure off the vendor.  I am pleased to say we ended up with four firm offers.  It was hard to choose which buyer to go with but in the end the vendor accepted the offer from the buyer he liked the most.   He felt that the retention rate would be higher if the buyer had a similar ethos to himself. 

In view of the vendor’s condition speed was of the essence.  The first day after the offer had been accepted, the buyer came to the vendor’s office to have a second meeting and discuss what needed to be done and by when.  At the same time the buyer carried out minimal due diligence. The following day, the staff were informed in the morning and in the afternoon the buyer met with them to let them know he wanted them to transfer to his firm under TUPE regulations.  The day after that, the contract was produced by the buyer, who went through it in detail with the seller.  The day after that, the contract was signed and the deal was completed.  It took four days from acceptance of the offer to completion.

At Draper Hinks we were all heavily involved in getting this deal over the line.  The vendor was very grateful as was his wife and family.  They did manage to have some quality time together before he passed away 4 weeks later.  Believe me, we will absolutely go the extra mile if we have to.    We had such a lovely thank you card from his widow and daughter saying they could not have done it without us. 

We were the privileged ones, making a difference in this very harrowing situation. 

If you are thinking about selling your practice and are worried about the process, then please get in touch with us.  You can book a Zoom meeting with me to have a no obligation, totally confidential, chat any time using this link: https://calendly.com/draper-hinks/q_a