February 10, 2021
Choosing Your Transaction Advisor – Part 2 of a Five-part Series
by Max Beairsto and Mike Jaczko
When it comes to successfully exiting your business, good preparation can make all the difference. And nothing in the preparatory phase is as important as assembling a capable “transition team” of advisors, who will guide you through every step of the process. The central role on this team should be played by an intermediary who will coordinate the efforts of other team members (lawyer, accountant, financial advisor) and act on your behalf throughout. In our experience, many pharmacy owners choose to hire a real estate agent or broker for this task, and although some are capable and have specialized knowledge and experience, it’s important to do your research first. Remember, your transaction is not a typical commercial real estate sale and requires far more sophistication.
What should you look for in an intermediary? Perhaps the most important thing is that they have an intimate knowledge of your industry. Having been owners themselves – and having gone through the sale process in their own experience – can be a welcome bonus, but they should also have experience in many sale transactions. As well, they need to be a source of objection information and analysis. Access to similar prior transaction data, the ability to develop an evidence-based valuation, key contacts in the industry, and among potential buyers – all of these are qualities you should look for.
Your intermediary should also have some formal training in business or valuation and transactions. An MBA is good, but you should also look for a designation or at least training in business valuation, and perhaps some kind of negotiating designation such as a Certified Business Broker (CBB) or Certified Business Intermediary (CBI).
A good intermediary will have the infrastructure to support you effectively. That includes the technological infrastructure to store data securely and efficiently, as well as the human infrastructure to ensure that your team has backup expertise if you need it, for instance in the case of vacation or illness.
Some aspects of a good intermediary might be hard to glean from a resume, but they are nevertheless important. For one, your team lead should give you confidence they are every bit as sophisticated in their knowledge, expertise, and demeanor as potential buyers are. They should be methodical and detail-oriented, and they should be able to explain different options to you and help you assess their strengths and weaknesses.
Finally, make sure your intermediary is looking out for your interests alone, not those of the buyer. Not only should they not accept payment in any form from the buy-side (this does happen), but also their interests should align with yours and should disclose any conflicts. It also needs to be said that your intermediary should never cross any legal or ethical lines in representing you, and they should make it clear that they won’t.
In our next edition of the EVCOR advisor: How to choose a lawyer.
Max Beairsto, B.Sc. Pharm., MBA, CVA is an intermediary and valuation analyst with EVCOR (Enterprise Valuators Corporation), a Canadian business advisory firm that focuses on valuations and the sale of healthcare-related companies.
Mike Jaczko, BSc. Phm, RPh, CIM®, FEA, a pharmacist by background, is a portfolio manager, partner, and member of KJ Harrison Investors, a Toronto-based private investment management firm servicing individuals and families across Canada.
In the second webinar in our series, “Accelerating the Pace of Change,” we will explore the impact of COVID-19 on independent pharmacy.
Guided by moderator Rita Winn, Director, Lovell Drugs, and Vice-Chair of Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada, our presenters will seek to answer the question, “What does profitability look like in 2021?” In addition, our panelists (four independent pharmacists from across Canada) will share their experiences, from staffing to service delivery, through the challenges of maintaining a business while keeping their pharmacists and customers safe, now and in the future.
Presentation – Pharmacy Profitability During COVID-19
Panel – Pharmacy Owners’ Frontline Views
Coming to Market:
Max Beairsto, BSc., MBA, CVA
1-844-283-6367 ext 101
Dan Reich, PharmD.
1-844-283-6367 ext 106
1-844-283-6367 ext 113
1-877-583-3320 ext 251
to register as a buyer click here
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