Unlocking success: A guide to selling your veterinary practice to a VSO/consolidator/corporate owner

If you’re considering selling to a Veterinary Services Organization (VSO)—sometimes called consolidators or corporate owners—careful planning and strategic decision-making are essential.

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Selling your veterinary practice is a significant milestone, marking the transition to a new chapter in your career. If you’re considering selling to a Veterinary Services Organization (VSO) (sometimes called consolidators or corporate owners), careful planning and strategic decision-making are essential. Here’s a comprehensive guide tailored to veterinary practitioners looking to sell their practice to a VSO partner: 

Determine your purchase price 

Valuing your veterinary practice accurately is crucial for a successful sale. Consider factors such as client base, client demographics, revenue, profitability, location, equipment, and reputation. Consulting with professionals experienced in veterinary practice valuation can help ensure you receive a fair and competitive price. 

Choose your buyer 

Selecting the right VSO partner is vital for a smooth transition and the preservation of your practice’s legacy. Look for a VSO with a strong reputation, a commitment to exceptional patient care, and a compatible practice culture. Evaluate how their values and operational approach align with your own. 

Structure your deal 

The structure of your deal will have significant implications for the outcome of the sale. Work closely with legal and financial advisors to explore different transaction structures, such as asset sales, equity rollovers, or mergers, considering your financial goals, tax implications, and long-term objectives. 

Protect your purchase price during due diligence 

Prepare your practice for the due diligence process by ensuring meticulous record-keeping and transparency. Be ready to provide documentation regarding financial performance, client demographics, regulatory compliance, and operational procedures. Address any potential concerns proactively to protect your purchase price. 

Mitigate your purchase agreement risk 

Crafting a solid purchase agreement is crucial for protecting your interests and minimizing post-sale disputes. Negotiate terms related to post-closing price adjustments, indemnification provisions, non-compete agreements, and transition assistance to ensure a smooth change of ownership and protect your investment. 

Consider equity participation for associate veterinarians and staff 

Consider how the sale will impact your associate veterinarians and staff members who may have equity or employment agreements with your practice. Communicate openly about the transition and explore opportunities for them to participate in the new ownership structure, fostering continuity and commitment during the transition. 

Get to closing 

As the closing date approaches, collaborate closely with your advisors and the VSO’s representatives to ensure all necessary documentation is in order and any outstanding issues are resolved. Maintain open communication to facilitate a smooth closing process and transition of ownership. 

Selling your veterinary practice to a VSO presents an opportunity for growth and expansion. By leveraging the expertise and support of experienced advisors and aligning with a reputable VSO partner, you can navigate the process with confidence and secure a bright future for your practice and your patients. 

 

About Dykema 

Dykema’s Veterinary Services Organization (VSO) Industry Group (dykema.com) specializes in providing comprehensive legal solutions tailored to the unique needs of veterinary practitioners and VSOs. With a deep understanding of the veterinary industry landscape and regulatory environment, our team of experienced attorneys can provide strategic guidance and support at every stage of the sale process. 

From structuring the deal and negotiating favorable terms to navigating regulatory compliance and facilitating a smooth transition, Dykema brings unparalleled expertise and insight to help you achieve your goals and maximize the value of your practice. With Dykema by your side, you can confidently navigate the complexities of selling your veterinary practice to a VSO and unlock a new chapter of success. 

Written by Eric White (ewhite@dykema.com) and Virgil Ochoa (vochoa@dykema.com) 

 

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