Learn more about our service from the people who use our service
Want to know more about the selling experience?
We spent some time with Darren McAuley, dentist and former owner of Sutton Dental Practice, to find out about his experiences with MediEstates, why he decided to sell and what it was like selling to Rodericks Dental.
Tell us a little bit about the practice
It was a mostly NHS practice that I bought six years after qualifying. I worked hard and saved every penny I earned to get a deposit down; I’d always wanted to own a practice.
The practice had a large NHS contract and the previous owners were actually missing the target, but every year we had the practice we successfully hit it. When I took over, they were doing a nominal amount in private dentistry whereas by the time I finished we increased this by 600%.
I took a business approach. It was a six-surgery practice that wasn’t always fully occupied so I got an implant specialist in, a few iTero scanners, a quicker computer system to speed things up a bit, and we installed air conditioning to create a better working environment. I was doing at most two days of dentistry a week and really focused on managing the business. By the end all six surgeries were filled five days a week and we were doing some private work on Saturday and Sunday mornings, too.
What made you decide to sell your practice?
I found being a Principal dentist on my own quite stressful and I realised quite quickly, that part time staff are good, because they have more energy, but I ended up with 25 staff this way.
I had decided not to do much dentistry because I felt that the practice would do better with me managing the business. Many people thought I was crazy, that I should be doing more dentistry and recruit a practice manager to manage things, but I just figured no one would – or should – care about it as much as I did. It was not necessarily the right approach, but it worked.
I enjoyed building the practice, but I think Covid was probably what ultimately pushed me to put it on the market. It sounds terrible but it makes you think that it could all happen again.
I’ve also got three children aged four, five and nine, and managing the practice left me with little time to spend with them. So, the key drivers for me were finding a better work-life balance but also to explore new ventures outside of the dental practice. All this culminated to make me feel that it was the right time to sell.
Why did you appoint MediEstates?
I have always been on the MediEstates mailing list and I have always received emails from them, so when I made the decision to sell, they were the most prominent in my mind.
How was your experience with the MediEstates team?
Great. The MediEstates team came in after hours to evaluate the practice and obviously, confidentiality and discretion were key. I had been thinking about selling for a while, and I knew roughly how much the practice was worth, so when I got the valuation the process was very quick and I was happy that it matched what I felt it was worth.
The MediEstates team were excellent. I found that they really listened. For example, when I requested the sale be kept confidential, they reassured me about the confidentiality right from the initial phases. There was always someone available on the phone to help when I needed it, the support was great. Sue, in the office, was always available on the phone, there was always someone to speak to. I think they also have very good relationships with the corporates so that really helped as well.
How was your experience of selling to a corporate buyer?
MediEstates had advised me that from the start the practice would be too expensive for most individuals, but within a week they had three corporates who were interested. They came in the evenings to look at it and I received offers from all three corporates who viewed it.
The Rodericks Dental ethos appealed to me because they are clinically led, everyone I dealt with was an ex-dentist, ex-practice manager, or ex-dental nurse, so that really influenced me as well. They have the patient’s best interest at heart. I believe that if you look after your patients and your staff properly then dentistry will be a profitable business and Rodericks Dental had the same sort of outlook on that as me, which, as well as meeting the valuation figure, resonated with me to sell to them.
Selling to Rodericks Dental made the process quick too, they took a corporate approach to the due diligence, which can be a time-consuming aspect. I think that’s something that people must be prepared for. Both MediEstates and Rodericks were very efficient throughout the sale.
How do you feel now you’ve sold your practice?
It’s been pretty good. The terms of the sale meant that I was tied in to work in the practice for a year and I enjoy working for Rodericks Dental, they’ve been very good. Now I do one full day and two half days a week in the practice, giving me the work-life balance I wanted.
I did enjoy owning the practice, we had a great team, a good patient base, and a lovely practice; hence why I'm still there. It’s a good place to work and Rodericks Dental have followed on from that.
Did you come across any challenges during the process?
My sale process was so smooth. It was smoother than a couple of the house sales I have been involved in. Obviously, the process is longer, and the amount of information required was a lot more than a house sale, but I understood the process and was expecting it, so I found it smoother than the house sales I was involved in.
Would you recommend MediEstates to other potential vendors?
Absolutely, 100%. The main reason people are concerned when they consider selling is worries around confidentiality and MediEstates were spotless in that regard.
Why not contact our team today and see how we can help with a free, no-obligation valuation?