Case Study: Selling a Mid-Sized Physiotherapy Practice

16 Apr 2024

Introduction

In the complex world of business brokerage, every transaction presents its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. Recently, our brokerage was approached by the owners of a well-established Physiotherapy clinic. The practice boasted a commendable annual turnover of £420,000, and was supported by a small team of associates and practice manager. Renowned for its quality services and dedicated client base, the clinic had been jointly operated by the owners for over two decades. However, they found themselves at a pivotal juncture, eager to retire yet deeply entrenched in the clinic’s day-to-day operations and revenue generation, raising concerns about the practices future stability should they step away.

Client Objectives

Recognising the delicate balance between financial security and preserving their practice’s legacy, the owners entrusted Verilo with marketing their clinic to find a buyer who could not only offer a suitable financial package but also ensure continuity for staff and clients alike. Aware of the potential necessity of an extended handover and an earn-out structure, albeit not ideal, the owners were willing to negotiate these terms to safeguard the clinic’s future.

Strategic Approach

With a clear mandate in hand, Verilo initiated a marketing campaign to attract potential buyers. The response was highly encouraging, with more than 30 expressions of interest coming in within the initial weeks. These including large healthcare organisations, other physiotherapy groups, and investment consortiums from within and outside our buyer network. From this pool, nine promising buyers emerged, sparking in-depth discussions that eventually led to multiple competitive offers. A deal was accepted within six months of launching the campaign, a timeframe typical for a practice of this size and nature.

Negotiations and Deal Structuring

Verilo worked closely with all involved parties, leveraging our expertise to fashion a deal that met both the owners’ financial expectations and the buyer’s long-term vision. Ultimately, an agreement was reached valuing the clinic at 4.4 times adjusted EBITDA, with 85% guaranteed and 15% contingent on performance, striking a balance between security and potential upside for both sides.

Legal Support and Due Diligence

Acknowledging the owners’ concerns about legal expenses, we facilitated introductions to reputable firms offering competitive rates without compromising on quality. Throughout the due diligence process, typical challenges arose, from unresolved legal disputes to lease security issues and unforeseen staff departures. Serving as mediators, we maintained transparent communication channels between buyer and seller, navigating through obstacles to ensure a smooth path to closure.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the transaction was not merely about transferring ownership but preserving a legacy. Both parties were satisfied with the outcome, and the owners continue to contribute their expertise to the clinic in a consultancy capacity. Through meticulous negotiation and strategic planning, we orchestrated a seamless transition that secured the clinic’s future while honouring its rich history.

 

*Some details have been omitted / modified to maintain buyer and seller anonymity.

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