Q&A with Jamal Johnston

Here, Jamal Johnston provides valuable insight into what it was like to sell his practice in Slough…

Which consultant in Dental Elite did you work with?

“My representative was Leah Turner, who was very proactive and worked closely with me throughout the sale process. Having her there as the intermediary was vital in ensuring that I received all the information and communication was maintained at all times between all parties.”

How did you find the bidding process?

“I found the open bidding process to be very open and transparent, so it was, all in all, a very positive experience. In fact, this style of bidding was one of the reasons why I wanted to work with Dental Elite – indeed, I wanted a fair price offered to me in a fair way, and I knew that I could achieve that with open bidding.”

What was the most challenging part of your sale?

“Without a doubt the most challenging part of the sale was due diligence. Had everything gone smoothly the deal could have been completed far sooner than it did, but because there were a few hiccups, the process was dragged out longer than it needed to be. Perhaps the completion date that had been set was too ambitious – I’m not sure. Either way, due diligence from beginning to end was very tedious, and I wholeheartedly recommend tackling it as soon as possible.”

Do you have any advice for future sellers?

“When you work with an agency like Dental Elite, you get given a list of documents that will be needed once due diligence begins, so my advice would be to take full advantage of that – a months head start might make all the difference to the length of the transaction.

“In regard to the rest of the sale, my advice would be to make all the necessary preparations and to start collecting and organising the documentation required for the due diligence aspect of the sale, even before you consider putting it on the market. Not only could this help to minimise the possibility of delays or problems from occurring, but it gives you time to make improvements to the practice, which in turn helps enhance your valuation price and eventual profitability.“

Did you experience any other complications?

“In 2013 when my partner and I incorporated our practice (which was previously a limited liability partnership) we made the decision to have a desktop valuation rather than use an independent valuer. This was later disputed by HMRC, who felt that the valuation price didn’t match up with projected figures. Thus, in 2016, Dental Elite had to complete a retrospective valuation as to what they thought the practice would have been worth in 2013. After an investigation that took around six months, during which Leah sent a number of letters to HMRC to back up the valuation calculations, the dispute was resolved. The fact that the sale was going through at the time helped with this.”

Why did you choose Dental Elite over other agencies?

“In addition to the fact that Dental Elite offers an open bidding process, I value the team’s incredible insight into the market and their knowledge on what changes can be made to a practice to improve its valuation. I had utilised Dental Elite previously to carry out a ‘health check’ on my other practice in Birmingham, and had been very happy with the results, so I decided to use the agency again when I finally came to sell the practice in Slough.

“All in all, I am very happy with the outcome of the transaction and though it took slightly longer than expected, it still only took nine months.”

For more information contact Dental Elite. Visit dentalelite.co.uk, email info@dentalelite.co.uk or call 01788 545 900