ARE THE CORPORATES MAKING HEADWAY IN NI?
There are 385 dental practices in NI (source: BSO, Dec 2015). A quick review of corporate websites (eg Oasis, mydentist, Portman Dental etc), suggests that there are approximately 35 practices now owned by corporates in NI. This is a little under 10% of the total. On the UK mainland the figure is approximately 20%. Assuming that a Regional Operations Manager can manage up to 15 practices, then it follows that corporates will want to continue to buy more NI dental practices.
Starting a couple of years ago, the letters from corporates fishing for sellers came thick and fast. The corporate buyers on the ground have tight practice purchase criteria (and valuation models) that they can use – the heart doesn’t rule the head. Unlike a private purchaser who can be more flexible, assuming the private funds or bank lending is in place.
All dentists have a perception of what it would be like if they sold to a corporate and of course this may or may not be accurate. The main motivation is often to secure an exit route for the owner. Cash in the bank can surely sweeten a level of ‘pain’ to be endured, when control of the Practice is relinquished!
Corporates will cite a number of benefits to joining them – one being the removal of the compliance burden i.e. RQIA. We wonder if this is really still considered a significant burden as Practices understand what is required of them and have now managed to comply for a number of years.
We can offer connections and assistance for owners considering selling to a Dental Corporate and to gain insight from those who have already been through the process. If you have sold in the last three years and would be willing to offer your thoughts (completely anonymously if necessary), we would love to hear from you.
Alternatively, if you would just like to talk through your sale options, give us a call.