For surgery center owners, at some point you will likely consider selling an interest in your practice, ASC and/or real estate. While the motivations are different for everyone, as are the expectations, there are certain aspects of any transaction that are vitally important to consider before you embark on the sales process.
A is for AWARE. Be aware that while this is most likely the first and only time that you as a physician owner will go through the sales process, that the buyers of your business have a level of expertise that puts you at a real disadvantage. Most physicians will tell you that they wish they had known just how challenging, time consuming and complex the sales process was before they got involved in it and if they had known they would have taken a different approach.
B is be BOLD. The blood, sweat and tears that have gone into growing your organization have put you in a position where you have an opportunity to monetize your investment. Don’t settle for a marginal result, do the research, do your homework, understand what goes into a successful process and either work with someone who can help you are make sure you follow the basic principles of a successful transaction or make sure you have the level or expertise required to manage a successful process. There is a lot more than money at stake, after all when the transaction is complete you will have a partner for most likely the remainder of your professional career.
C is for COMPETITION. Most ASCs are sold directly to a hospital or a national ASC organization or a combination of both, private equity even plays a role in our industry. Most physician owners engage with organizations that they know or that have approached them, that they are comfortable with and who together they work with to negotiate what they consider to be a fair and reasonable offer. However, like virtually every other transaction that takes place, unless there is a competitive sales process there is no way of knowing whether or not you are actually realizing the best result for your organization.
As a final note, while the best financial result may be your primary goal, remember that whomever you decide to work with will be your partner, potentially for the remainder of your professional career, and that working with someone that enhances all aspects of your organization is perhaps the most important aspect of any successful transaction.