Vet Practice Valuation
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Veterinary Practice Sales

Knowledge to Navigate

 

COVID 19 Update –  The global pandemic has proven that veterinary medicine is an essential part of our economy.  The industry has performed very well during this difficult time.  Corporate buyers have noticed and are continuing to increase their portfolios by acquiring high quality practices.  Before you consider selling, call us to help you plan the most important financial transaction of your lifetime.

 

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Ackerman Group is the industry leader in veterinary practice sales to the Corporate Market with over $600 million in transactions since 2017.   We’ve been offering the financial know-how and expertise to guide veterinary practice owners through the complex transition process for more than 20 years.

Considering the sale of your veterinary practice can feel equally exciting and daunting. We take the time to understand your practice, your values and your goals. We educate you without overwhelming you, and we explain every step and potential outcome so that you can make the best decision for your future and the future of your practice.  Today’s corporate transactions are more complex,  we help you understand your options and negotiate the best terms and price.

Our approach to the corporate market has resulted in a demonstrated increase in value for our clients. But what we’re most proud of is our satisfied client base – dozens of veterinary practice owners who have secured their futures and legacies on their own terms.

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Getting There

Ackerman Group is the leader in corporate market transactions. We have developed the quality relationships and have the industry expertise to help you navigate the many considerations to achieving a successful practice sale in the competitive corporate market. From negotiating employment agreements and exit strategies to analyzing private equity offers and tax mitigation techniques, we know the market trends, the buyers and how to help you get to where you want to be.

Our unique approach using group veterinary practice sales helps you gain better exposure to the best, most qualified buyers willing to meet your terms. This approach puts your veterinary practice in front of multiple active corporate buyers at one time so you receive the maximum value for your practice that the market is willing to offer.

At the end of the day, however, each and every veterinary practice is sold individually. That means you define success and retain complete control. You say when the deal is done.

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Veterinary Sales

Beside You All the Way

We know from personal experience as veterinary practice owners that you’ve built more than a business. You’ve created a family of staff, clients, partners and pets, and your legacy must reflect your values. We also know that your vision for how and when you transition your practice is as unique as you are. That’s why we work with you to create a customized transition plan that advances your professional and personal goals. We will design a plan to secure personalized terms, find the best cultural fit for your practice and negotiate the best price.

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Our Model for Success:

The “highest price” may not be the best option if the terms aren’t good or the buyer is not a good fit for your veterinary practice. We know that the terms of a veterinary practice sale are just as important as the price. We secure personalized terms and find the best cultural fit for your practice. In addition, our due diligence process will ensure that we are maximizing your earnings picture so that you get the best price for your most important financial asset: your practice.

Our holistic, streamlined approach to veterinary practice transitions ensures your immediate and future success. From offering financial planning and tax mitigation strategies to facilitating closing documentation, we are your project manager, advisor, partner and guide, committed to taking care of your interests and providing you with the confidence to make the best possible decisions for your practice.

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Best Fit

You know your community, staff and pet families. Your culture of care is part of your legacy. We work with you to find the best cultural fit for the veterinary practice you have built.

There are over 40 corporate buyers in the market today. We help you find the buyer with the best medical services and culture for your veterinary practice, because we understand that success is not only about getting the best price. Together, we’ll get you where you want to be.

Best Terms

Whether your goal is to transfer ownership over time, include associates in the sale, sell your veterinary practice and lease your real estate, or something altogether different, we work to secure the best terms to meet your personal goals. We provide value to your journey from beginning to end, and our veterinary practice transition team starts with understanding your needs.

Best Price

Ackerman Group is the leader in veterinary practice sales to the corporate market, which means we know the market trends and the buyers – and they know and trust us. In the past three years alone, we’ve helped more than 100 veterinary practice owners receive maximum value for their practices. We review, organize and present your supportable financial and practice data to multiple buyers to maximize value and obtain the best purchase price for your life’s work.

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What our clients say about us;

It is Very Rewarding

I would be delighted to share my journey with you. Although I have been contemplating this for about 1 1/2-2 years – I officially began last year – went through Covid and everything in between. I’m sure you have heard this before – but, nothing really prepares you for this process – it is truly unique but the end result – if you are diligent, know what you goals are going into the process and you seek alignment with your partners – it is very rewarding. I will tell you this: I have considered myself an astute business person before beginning this process. What I realized: how much I did not know. Without Gary and his team – I would have probably taken an offer for about 1/3 less than what I received. More importantly, the things I was able to secure and the things I’m going to be able to do professionally (truly a dream come true) – would never have occurred without Gary’s counsel and help.

Dan Markwalder, DVM
Animal Care Clinic of Hoffman Estates
Animal Care Clinic of Fox Valley
Millbrook Animal Care Clinic
Animal Care Clinic of Randall Point
Pingree Grove

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Kept Our Best Interests in Mind

We both truly appreciate all the help you have given us in the selling of the businesses – we feel you have been honest, upfront and always kept our best interests in mind when negotiating the sales. We are happy to act as references anytime someone is interested in hearing our story.

LeeAnn DuMars, DVM
Pet Medical Center & Spa
Fresno Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center

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Ackerman Group Delivered

Simply put, the Ackerman Group delivered.  I made more money, got better terms, and had a much smoother experience by selling my practice with the Ackerman Group than if had gone it alone.  They covered their fees many times over with a higher purchase price, while providing a team of experts to evaluate my financials, market my practice, effectively negotiate the sale price, provided for an excellent legal team that was able to deliver superior terms on the sale, post sale employment, and ongoing incentive options.  This wasn’t my first practice sale, but it was by far the best results.  I am very happy with the experience and would highly recommend the Ackerman Group to anyone considering the sale of a Veterinary Practice.  In this rapidly moving Veterinary Practice market, you need experts on your side to help negotiating, explain the details, and close the deal.  I’d recommend it be the Ackerman Group.

Peter Mangold, DVM
Alamo Animal Hospital

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A Team of Experienced Specialists

“As a vet, thoroughly researching my cases is critical to success of my cases. So when I started looking at the possibility of merging with a corporation, I took the same approach to finding a partner. Coming to the conclusion that corporate partnership would be the next step in my path was easy as it meant that retirement was guaranteed, and with the power of the larger pool of hospitals, I was capable of more. The real challenge was how much and who.

During the process of interviewing companies to learn their philosophies and get first offers, I met Dr Ackerman. I had several good offers, and honestly I thought it was crazy to pay a broker. I was wrong.

After listing with Gary, doors were opened that I was not able to open for myself. The offers I got were higher and more creative to meet my individual needs.

In the end I got my dream partner. A company I love, who loves me and was willing to create a niche that was tailor made for me for the price I wanted.

But it didn’t stop there- Gary introduced me to an experienced team of specialists who were knowledgeable about veterinary practice sales so that I had the most experienced representation in the industry to make sure the contract protected me and that the taxes were managed to my advantage.”

~ Sherry Weaver – Towne Lake Animal Hospital, Woodstock, GA

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Personal Attention and a Higher Sale price

“In 2018 Dr. Gary Ackerman represented me in the sale of my veterinary practice to PetVet Care Centers. The price I received for my practice was substantially higher than expected, and would have received, had the transaction taken place through a traditional practice broker. I attribute this due to Dr. Ackerman’s exceptional skill, knowledge and experience.

My practice was a solo practitioner private practice which made it less likely to be purchased by a national corporation. It is noteworthy that even though I had a smaller practice, Dr. Ackerman always invested ample and considerable time, effort and attention despite the fact that most veterinary corporations purchasing practices are usually only interested in the larger multi DVM practices. Gary always was very accessible, knowledgeable, capable and available whenever I needed him.

I’d highly recommend him for the future sale of a veterinary practice if you are considering doing so.”

~ Roger Paulson, DVM

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Valuable Knowledge, Complete Professionalism

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Gary on numerous transitions over the years and have participated in many educational events with him as well. I find Gary to be extremely knowledgeable, thorough, and professional in all of my experiences with him. As a former doctor, he has an especially valuable knowledge of the veterinary industry, what makes a practice profitable/successful, and what a potential seller can do now to make his/her practice more financially valuable in a sale situation. Gary is also well versed in tax related strategies which are of the utmost importance when selling a practice. I highly recommend Gary and his services to all prospective sellers.”

~ Bert H., Lender

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Well worth the Commission Paid!

“The funny thing is, and I guess a good selling point for you and the group process, is that us selling 51% still represents more money than their 100% offer 6 months prior.  Thank You – it was well worth the commission paid!”

~ Dr. LeeAnn DuMars – Fresno Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital, Pet Medical Center, Fresno, CA

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Worth Every Penny!

“We finally made it!!! I want to thank you for all you have done for us. I would NEVER want to go through this without your guidance and Trey and Nima with their legal wrangling. The fees paid to you and them is worth every penny!!! I absolutely know we would never have got the deal we all did without you leading the group. I will definitely send your way anyone interested in going this direction.”

Thank you!

~ Dr. Steve Pope – Pope Animal Hospital, Alton, IL

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It’s A “Game Changer”!

“I tried to do it alone – tried to sell my practice on my own. I even flew around the country to visit the corporate headquarters of the major consolidators to interview them and received offers from each. But I had no idea if they were good offers or not, or if the opportunities were the right choice for our practice. With no one on my side to offer advice, it was like swimming in the ocean surrounded by sharks. Finding Gary at the right time was a game changer. He guided me through the whole process and beyond. Paying his commission was one of the best investments I’ve ever made – the improved purchase price he negotiated covered that amount five times over, but he also obtained many key considerations I would never have thought of by myself in terms of lease, bonus structure and employment details. I’m glad Gary was in my corner as I made one of the biggest business decisions of my life.”

~ Dr. Jason Randall and Dr. JoAnn Randall – Animal Hospital Of Woodstock, Woodstock Illinois

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Critical to Our Retirement Income—and Financial Legacy

“The information provided was critical to making the hard decisions that govern the amount of after-tax retiree income that my wife and I receive, as well as determining the financial legacy that we will leave behind.”

~ Ackerman Group client

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I was ill-prepared…

“As I look back now, I realize how ill-prepared I was for such an undertaking and can’t imagine going through the process without your and Trey’s help.”

~ Ackerman Group client

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Best Price

“Your greatest asset is explaining the big picture and the various aspects to consider, providing experts in various areas and of course negotiating the best price.”

~ Ackerman Group client

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Blessed to Have Your Team

“I can’t imagine taking this on by myself. I was more than blessed to have your team brokering for me, my family, my employees and my legacy.”

Many Thanks.

 

~ Ackerman Group client

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Higher Offers, Better Terms

“After listing with Gary, doors were opened that I was not able to open for myself. The offers I got were higher and more creative to meet my individual needs. In the end I got my dream partner.”

~ Ackerman Group client

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$1 Million Deferred!

“Gary helped us defer – and for a long time – nearly $1 million in what would have otherwise been an immediate state and federal tax liability when we sold our group practice.”

~ Ackerman Group client

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Partners in the Process

“As a practice owner of 32 years I had always attempted to manage my practice well, but when presented with an opportunity to sell, I became aware of how little I knew about the process.”

~ Ackerman Group client

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Experience and Information for Making the Hard Decisions

“After 37 years in veterinary practice, I considered myself to be a successful clinician and a capable businessman, but I was filled with uncertainty and apprehension regarding retirement. Dr. Gary Ackerman … provided the critical information that I needed to negotiate the legal and financial maze associated with the sale of a veterinary practice. The information provided was critical to making the hard decisions that govern the amount of after-tax retiree income that my wife and I receive, as well as determining the financial legacy that we will leave behind.”

~ Ackerman Group client

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Ackerman is Uniquely Qualified

“We deeply appreciate Dr. Ackerman’s guidance. His experience as a practicing veterinarian and his expertise in finance make him uniquely qualified to advise veterinarians who are actively planning their retirements, and he continues to closely follow and advise us long after the sale.”

~ Ackerman Group client

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A Novice Doesn’t Know what they Don’t Know

“A few thoughts on the selling process I hope will be helpful. As you may remember I had already started shopping my practice when I contacted you. I had spread sheets and started relationships with 11 corporate buyers and quite frankly was realizing how daunting a task it was going to be when we met. As I look back now, I realize how ill-prepared I was for such an undertaking and can’t imagine going through the process without your and Trey’s help.  There were just too many things I wouldn’t have had a clue to ask. In this arena, a novice doesn’t know what they don’t know, and it really takes professionals such as you and Trey to unpack the many considerations and nuances incumbent in such transactions.”

~ Ackerman Group client

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Invaluable

“Naturally, being a control freak, as many of us vets are, I was a bit hesitant to trust at first. Boy, am I glad I did. The trip to the group meeting was invaluable.”

~ Ackerman Group client

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Impressive

“In addition to being impressed with your grasp of veterinary medicine, financial planning, real estate, practice valuations and corporate transactions, your ability to manage the many personalities of such a group is impressive.  Not many can ‘herd cats.'”

~ Ackerman Group client

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Now, Work is “Optional”!

“The major impact for me is that I am now in a ‘work is optional’ mode. To be clear, if we had not been able to tax defer to the extent that Gary’s plan did, then I would have had to work another 5 years to get into the ‘work is optional’ mode.  The impact is the significant!”

~ Ackerman Group client

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Trust Ackerman for the Best Fit, Best Terms, Best Price!

“I should comment that I did a hell of a lot of digging on the internet before I finally found Gary…got lucky!  I trust Gary explicitly and strongly recommend that you do too. Your choices are not complicated: either a) pay +40% in taxes at the time of closing due to the higher effective tax rate imposed on you and then invest from there or b) defer a substantial portion and have a larger amount to invest and then pay the taxes on the growth over a long period of time at a lower effective tax rate.”

~ Ackerman Group client

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Highest Price, Best Outcome, Total Transparency

“My take is that you are the best at running a group process of anyone I’ve seen. You have a unique blend of skills/experience, genuine interest in practice owners getting not just highest price but best outcome, and ability to provide transparency as to risks with buyers.  Seems to me you are the right person, in the right place, which is cool to see. Personally, I’d like to see you build a bigger staff in 2019 so that you can service the demand.”

~ Corporate Practice Buyer

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Knowledgeable, Thorough, Professional

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Gary on numerous transitions over the years and have participated in many educational events with him as well. I find Gary to be extremely knowledgeable, thorough, and professional in all of my experiences with him. As a former doctor, he has an especially valuable knowledge of the veterinary industry, what makes a practice profitable/successful, and what a potential seller can do now to make his/her practice more financially valuable in a sale situation. Gary is also well versed in tax related strategies which are of the utmost importance when selling a practice. I highly recommend Gary and his services to all prospective sellers.”

 

~ From a Veterinary Lender

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Highly Recommend

“When presented with an opportunity to sell, I became aware of how little I knew about the process. If you have a personality that enjoys a steep learning curve and the assumption of unforeseen risk, do it yourself. If not, I highly recommend Ackerman Group.”

~ Ackerman Group client

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Positioned for a Proper Sale

“Once you understand your valuation AND your business is positioned for a proper sale price, your education really begins.”

~ Ackerman Group client

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Integrity and Dedication to Service

“In seminars I have attended on selling one’s practice, the speakers said begin planning the sale 5-10 years out. They were not kidding. Knowing how your practice is valued (everything excluding the land and building, if you own it) is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL to avoid being underpaid. If it turns out that your practice, like mine was 10 years ago when I had it appraised, has low profitability, you will get much less than you think after the sale. I was shocked and really dismayed when I found out I could only get 50% of annual revenue for my four DVM practice.

Once you understand valuation AND have your practice positioned for a proper sale price, your education really begins. Know the difference between a stock sale and an asset sale? Do you know the differences in taxation between them? Do yourself a favor. Go talk to your accountant. Ask what taxes will be due on the sale and prepare yourself for some rough news. Did you know, in an asset sale, that the sales proceeds from inventory and equipment are taxed at your ordinary income rates? The rest, called Good Will, is taxed at a lower rate using Capital Gains tax rates (15 or 20% depending on your income that year). When I added it all up, I was about to give up almost 40% of the sales proceeds on taxes. I was shocked and dismayed yet again.

The real estate is a separate issue. If you lease your space, you will not be able to sell your practice unless the lease is assignable and has favorable terms for a buyer or the landlord will negotiate. If you (and the bank) own it, there will be capital gains taxes due on any increase in value from the time you bought it.

But there is hope! There are some complex ways to diminish the impact of these taxes on your nest egg. I highly recommend you look into these by calling Gary Ackerman, DVM of Business Transition Services, Inc. He is one of very few in the USA who has a broad knowledge base in taxation of business transitions and has an intimate familiarity with the business of veterinary medicine. I have found him to be a person of integrity and dedication to service.”

~ Ackerman Group client

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Smoothing the Way

“The arrival of Ackerman Group should create a special opportunity for veterinarians who have an interest in either selling their practice or purchasing an existing practice.

Most veterinarians are pretty well up to speed with the medical issues of running a practice but run under a handicap when it comes to selling a practice.  Your guidance and help made the process of selling our eight-doctor practice relatively free of bumps in the road.  We want to thank you for your assistance.”

~ Ackerman Group client

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There is more to the next stage than just walking away from your business.

“When we talk about transitioning a business that has been your life blood for many years, our attention generally goes to having the business valued, finding a lender, the tax consequences, etc. etc. However, while all of those things are important, and having the right person on your team to assist you getting all of those items handled correctly, another aspect of the transitioning process is equally important – what are you going to do the next morning after the sale takes place? Now I know there is more to moving to the next stage of your life than just walking away from your business. Have you looked at your total financial picture?  Have you thought about what you are going to do the “rest of your life?”

~ Ackerman Group client

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