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MediEstates - ASK ANNE: Why should my broker become my best friend?
ASK ANNE: Why should my broker become my best friend?


Ask Anne: “Why should my broker become my best friend?”


One of the things that can deter would-be vendors from selling their practice is the prospect of dealing with a wide variety of third-party organisations. For many sellers, particularly those still working in practice, the thought of having to juggle accountants, solicitors, brokers and other agencies as well as maintaining a normal case-load, is simply overwhelming.

As a broker with over 17 years’ experience in the market, and as someone who recently sold my business (when MediHoldings became a Henry Schein company), I can empathise with this. However, there are various things that can be done to mitigate the sheer volume of work involved in selling a practice and in this process a good broker can really be your best friend.

Time is of the essence when selling a practice and it’s important to be surrounded by professionals who understand your needs and wants and who are as committed to a speedy process as you are.

Choosing the right solicitor is vital if time lines are to be met. Recommendation of a solicitor based on their current workload is made easy through a dedicated ‘Solicitors panel’, giving the ability to put forward those who are able to work at a pace set by the vendor, rather than that set by their other clients.

Similarly, with accountants it’s important to work with a broker who will do much of the hard work for you. Your broker should know if your practice is going to take 12 weeks to sell - or even a year - and should advise you accordingly so that a realistic exit strategy can be planned.

Like price, deal structure is negotiable, but is also essential to any deal progressing to completion. It’s not just about finding the right buyer, it’s about brokering the deal. Both the individual needs of the sellers and buyers must be taken into account in structuring the transaction in the most appealing manner for both parties’ and to ensure “a fair deal”. A respectable broker should have an in-depth knowledge of buyers in your area, be able to identify who is most hungry for the business in order to maximise the sale and be capable of obtaining a price that is deemed fit in order for the Principal to either retire or reach an agreed “earn out” period.

Planning the transition of a practice sale is one thing, but navigating a way through the lengthy CQC application process is something else entirely and thanks to its complexity there are many aspects that can go awry. Many agencies and solicitors can charge anything between £400 to £1200 for this service which is why it makes sense to look to a company who are willing to take on the task themselves by offering a complementary CQC consultancy service to their clients, to ensure that the process can be completed as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

Transparency and communication are key values for brokers and keeping clients up to date with progress is essential. It’s important to keep sellers engaged in the process and the more the broker can help to streamline, the better result we achieve in the long run. Once a practice is for sale I would expect that the vendor is contacted every day if necessary but at least once a week for a progress report.

When acting as a broker it is incumbent on me to establish a relationship of trust with my client. I do this in order to understand what the client wants, so I can best advise on the route to take, ensuring the seller is fully aware of the sales journey they need to travel and to help remove as much aggravation and stress as possible along the way.
Posted by: Anne Barker on 01 Feb 2018

General Buyer Terms 

This agreement is in relation to MediEstates Limited whose registered office is at 1st Floor, Pacific House, Stanier Way, Wyvern Business Park, Derby, DE21 6BF acting for and on behalf of our clients ("the Vendors"); and yourself (Buyer's Name) in relation for an introduction to a prospective sale of a business as a going concern. By registering through this agreement I agree to all terms set out below:

  1. Definitions
    In this Agreement the following terms and phrases shall have the following meaning unless the context otherwise requires:

    Business
    Dental Practice business providing dental care. This business is under the MediEstates Ltd sale terms.
    Confidential Information
    Means the actual Vendors identity and all confidential information in respect of the Business, including, but not limited to, any ideas, business methods, prices, accounts, finance, marketing, research, development, manpower plans, processes, market opportunities, intentions, design rights, product information, customer lists or details, employees’ details, trade secrets, computer systems and software, and other matters connected with the products or services manufactured, marketed, provided or obtained by the Vendor, and information concerning the Vendor’s relationships with actual or potential clients or customers and the needs and requirements of such clients’ or customers’ operations.
  2. Obligation of Confidentiality
    The Prospective Purchaser agrees to treat as confidential, information supplied by or on behalf of the Vendor in connection with the sale of the Business.
  3. Exclusions
    The obligation of confidentiality set out in clause 2 does not apply to:
    1. any information received from a third party who was legally free at the time of disclosure to disclose it;
    2. any information which was already lawfully in the Prospective Purchaser’s possession prior to receiving it from MediEstates Ltd on behalf of the Vendor; and
    3. any information which is in its entirety already in the public domain.
  4. Duties of Prospective Purchaser
    1. The Prospective Purchaser shall take such a reasonable security measures to protect the Confidential Information and trade secrets.
    2. The Prospective Purchaser shall not, without the prior written consent of the Vendor, permit any of the Confidential Information:
      1. to be disclosed, other than in confidence to its legal or professional advisors;
      2. to be copied or reproduced;
      3. to be commercially exploited in any way;
      4. to be used for any purpose other than in connection with the prospective purchase of the Business;
      5. MediEstates is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998. Upon Signing this agreement you agree to follow the legal obligations of this act to protect the details of the information supplied to you, with it no to be passed outside of the control of you the prospective purchaser.
    3. The Prospective Purchaser agrees to keep a record of Confidential Information received.
    4. The Prospective Purchaser will return to MediEstates or the Vendor all documents containing Confidential Information and all copies of those documents on demand at any time which are in its possession or under its control, and for this purpose the term “documents” includes computer discs and all other materials capable of storing data and information. The Prospective Purchaser agrees that such documents remain the property of the MediEstates on behalf of the Vendor.
    5. The Prospective Purchaser must not jeopardise or re-direct the sale under any circumstances.
    6. The Prospective Purchaser must not contact the Local Area Team or CCG regarding any practice sale, by any means of media unless written permission is granted from the Vendor.
    7. To carry out own due diligence on practice purchases and accepts that any information MediEstates has supplied is information provided by the vendor and is not responsible for its accuracy or completeness.
  5. This Agreement
    The existence of this Agreement and its terms are confidential and neither MediEstates nor the Purchaser may disclose anything about this Agreement or its subject matter or implementation to any person other than in confidence to their legal or professional advisers.
  6. Duties of Prospective Purchaser
    When buying Dental practices, finance is normally needed. Our organisation operated over more than one of the MediHoldings brand, by completing this from you agree that the information can be shared to our other organisations to avoid the need to register independently and provide the best possible service.

    MediEstates will refer you to the specialist dental lending team and MediFinancial who will contact the necessary banks, whom have preferential healthcare lending rates in some cases, to ascertain which funding is available to you.
    By signing this agreement you do not have to use any of the banks MediFinancial contact, it is just another service which we provide.
  7. Deposit for Dental Practice
    If you are interested in putting forward a formal offer in for a practice, once the offer is accepted there will be a deposit required to secure the practice sale which is dependant of the practice size. This deposit is held in a client account and will be returned to the buyer on completion of the practice sale. You the buyer, will be required to sign a deposit schedule which will cover the buyer and the seller in the event that the practice sale does not proceed.
  8. Changes to this Agreement
    Any changes made to this agreement must be authorised and signed by one of MediEstates Ltd Directors.
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