Finding the right buyer

Adam Bernstein continues his series on succession by detailing how to sell an optical practice to a third party

Passing a family practice down to the next generation is not as simple as it sounds. Not only does the business have to be in good shape to survive, but it also requires a generation that is interested in it and which has the financial wherewithal to pay the retirees for what is effectively their nest egg.

Last month we looked at precisely that issue. But what happens if the practice has no family that may want to buy it? There is just one option – sell to a third party.

Dominic Watson, a consultant at broker Myers La Roche, says that ‘the reasons for practice sales are wide and varied. Sadly, many are negative – such as disputes between business partners, divorce, health issues and probate.’ But to this he adds that many owners find running an optical business stressful at times and an exit offers the hope of an easier life.

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