How Ackerman Group Helped Secure Seven Figures More for Animal Hospital of Woodstock

About Drs. Jason & Joann Randall and Animal Hospital of Woodstock

Dr. Jason Randall and Dr. Joann Randall owned Animal Hospital of Woodstock for 29 years before selling their practice in 2019. Located in the northern suburbs of Chicago, their animal hospital boasted five doctors, a supportive staff, and a modern facility at the time of sale. Joann is a board-certified reproduction specialist; the practice offered both general practice and select specialty services. The Randalls also owned the property — it was built in 2004 and spanned over 5,000 square feet.

Before turning to Ackerman Group, Jason spent months learning how to sell the practice and exploring corporate purchasers on his own. He traveled on several occasions to meet with potential buyers and solicit offers by himself. However, even with countless hours of self-teaching under his belt, Dr. Randall felt ill-equipped to handle the financial components of the practice sale.

We got to the point where the management and administration became burdensome. We still wanted to practice, we still enjoy what we do, but the obligations of the management side of the business — we didn’t want to do that anymore.

Dr. Jason Randall

Jason found Ackerman Group through the professional membership organization, VMG. Fellow VMG members told Dr. Randall about their positive experiences with our team. He trusted his colleagues and their recommendation, which led to Jason connecting with Dr. Gary Ackerman. He and Gary had candid conversations about the Randalls’ goals and how Ackerman Group could provide the financial expertise he sought. After those conversations, Dr. Randall felt confident that Ackerman Group could help him and his wife secure the best future for themselves and their animal hospital.

“We went around trying to find the right match, and we just weren’t happy with what we found. We felt like we were out of our depth, even with VMG’s training and business orientation. You don’t even know what to ask for. Nothing prepares you for something as complicated as a practice transition unless you’ve gone through them hundreds of times, like Gary has.”

Dr. Jason Randall

Veterinary Practice Sale Goals

Ackerman Group worked with Jason and Joann to identify the goals they wanted to achieve in their practice sale. The Randalls pinned down four main objectives:

Overall, Jason and Joann wanted to maximize as much value as possible in their veterinary practice transaction.

They wanted continued ownership in Animal Hospital of Woodstock while giving the option of ownership to Associate DVMs and some staff.

They felt unprepared when it came to the financial components of the sale — the Randalls wanted Ackerman Group to provide guidance and advice in this specific area.

Since they owned the property, they hoped to secure an excellent lease with their purchaser.

“Some of the people that had been working with us had been working there for a long time. We wanted to include them in the transition; I did not want to devalue their contribution to our success.”

Dr. Jason Randall

Veterinary Practice Sale Process

After analyzing several aspects of the hospital, and in conjunction with the Randalls’ goals, Ackerman Group determined that a joint venture (JV) with earnout potential was the best option for Jason and Joann. However, before taking the practice to market, Gary proposed selling Animal Hospital of Woodstock through a group sale. In a group sale, several unaffiliated practices sell together in a “bundle” to secure a higher price and improved terms. Jason and Joann were unfamiliar with this strategy, so Dr. Ackerman shared the group’s basic terms and educated them more on how a group would work in their favor. The Randalls learned that, by selling their practice through a group, they could obtain a higher EBITDA multiple and better terms from their initial offers. With Gary’s guidance, Jason and Joann decided it was in their best interest to participate.

The group sale included more than 20 hospitals from around the country. Gary held an in-person meeting for all the practice owners involved, where corporate buyers also attended to pitch their offers and terms. After the in-person meeting, Gary held regular virtual meetings with group participants to evaluate offers, answer any questions, and facilitate discussion to choose the best deal.

Group participants deliberated, Jason included, and the group ultimately split into two smaller groups that sold to two different corporate buyers. NVA bought Jason and Joann’s Animal Hospital of Woodstock through a group purchase in the form of a Joint Venture.

It was very easy to do a deal with Jason because he came off as hugely credible. Jason’s experience in vetting many of the consolidators helped the other veterinarians in the group make a good choice. He had done his homework previously, so it was extremely helpful to their sale.

Dr. Gary Ackerman, Co-CEO

Outcomes and Results with Ackerman Group

Jason and Joann sold 60 percent of their veterinary practice to NVA, while they kept a 40 percent minority stake in the business. The sale allowed the Randalls to invite their Associates and manager to buy into the practice 3-6 months after initial closing. A couple of times, Gary held calls for the Associates for education purposes — he walked them through their ownership in the JV and answered any questions or concerns.

Animal Hospital of Woodstock front exterior
green quotation mark graphic

“Our staff met with NVA early on in the process — they learned of programs and benefits that they weren’t currently getting, some of the training that they offered to people who wanted to go to veterinary tech school and things like that. Instead of becoming disgruntled and disillusioned with the corporate transition, our Associates and manager became the cheerleaders for change. They couldn’t wait for this sale to go through. To have everyone so positive about it — it was a huge influence on the entire team.”

Dr. Jason Randall

From start to finish, selling Animal Hospital of Woodstock lasted nearly a year, but closing was delayed intentionally for tax mitigation purposes. In reality, the process wrapped up in about 7 months.


growth in JV valuation


increase in EBITDA


more value added the initial enterprise valuation to the final sale

Drs. Jason and Joann Randall also received earnout potential as part of their sale. They were able to secure the full amount by reaching subsequent revenue targets agreed upon with NVA. The Randalls worked nearly a year and a half post-closing before selling their remaining JV stake in 2020.

I would recommend it to everybody, especially if you own a practice for a few more years. Why not practice the way you want with the people you like while getting more value out at the end of it? We probably made an extra million on the sale of our practice with our participation in the JV.

Dr. Jason Randall

Today, the Randalls are enjoying their time with grandchildren, hobbies, and working when they want. The two of them continue to work part-time, and Joann teaches part-time at Purdue. In her spare time, she loves photography, gourmet cooking, and remains involved with the College of Theriogenologists. Jason likes to fish, and he recently received his pilot’s license.