How to value your pharmacy

08 November 2021

How to value

your pharmacy

Your first step to selling your pharmacy starts here. In order to accurately value your Pharmacy, we will need the following information,


Three Years Accounts

Latest Management Accounts

12 Months NHS Statements (all pages)

12 Months VAT Returns

A copy of the existing Lease or Freehold valuation

Staff details including roles, working hours and rates of pay




Company or Assets Sale


It’s important you take the appropriate advice from your Accountant on what you are selling, the Assets, Goodwill etc or the Shares in the Company.




If your premises are leasehold does your lease have a minimum of 10 years unexpired? Ideally, we would like to see 15 years as this will allow a purchaser to raise as much finance as possible. The longer the lease the better.




Make sure all your staff have up to date, signed contracts. Any sale will mean staff are transferred to the new owners under TUPE regulations with the exception of the owners/directors.


Download these details and get started


Work with the pharmacy specialists


All of this may seem like a lot of work but Pharmacy Seekers can assist you with many of these tasks. You will want the best price for your pharmacy and preparation is the key to promoting and subsequently selling your pharmacy.


If you need some informal advice now about selling your pharmacy contact or

Market update

Community Pharmacy 2020 into 2021

26 February 2021


Main events during 2020




The most major event to take place in 2020 was the outbreak of the COVID pandemic which first broke in March 2020. In the early days of the pandemic pharmacies were overrun with demand for face masks, surgical gloves and sanitiser. In addition, most GP surgeries closed their doors leaving community pharmacies to cope with waves of sick patients without the PPE to protect themselves.


At the very time when demand was at its peak, pharmacy owners had staff reporting sick and also had to cope with medicine shortages, price changes and great uncertainty.


During the first few months of the pandemic sale of pharmacies slowed down and change of ownership and fitness to practice applications weren’t being processed. Since the autumn sales activity has come back to previous levels and the administrative applications are being processed once again.


Other challenges created by the pandemic are the fact that banks have furloughed many staff and those that remain working are preoccupied processing CBILS and other government backed loans.


Group disposals


Another major trend from 2020 is the major pharmacy chains such as Boots, Lloyds, Well and Rowlands selling their smaller units and up scaling their offering. The general consensus is that these chains are looking to retain pharmacies around dispensing 10,000 items per month or more, combined with minimal competition and with well controlled overheads particularly property costs.


Centralised dispensing hubs


These have become more of a feature in the last year. Pharmacy 2 You, Echo (Lloyds) and Co-op all have offerings in this field and this space is likely to become increasingly crowded. Observations from the marketplace The number of registered purchasers continued to increase in 2020 with the majority of new registrations being from first time buyers. Consolidations are still proving to be very popular and make good economic sense where the turnover can be retained, and a set of overheads can be jettisoned. Pharmacy owners are looking at their leases particularly carefully especially when renewals fall due. Long leases, of say 15 years or more, may be useful for lending purposes but should be backed up with tenant only break clauses. High street rents are now dropping, and it is vital that owners take advice before committing to a lease at and out of date rent level. Health centre pharmacies have suffered badly during the pandemic, particularly those that do not have their own street entrance and may have ended up behind locked surgery doors. Rents for these pharmacies have dropped very sharply and caution should be taken with rent reviews or lease renewals. Demand in the last quarter of 2020 increased significantly driven predominantly by existing owners/small groups who were largely absent in 2020. Services are seen as a very important feature of the future community pharmacy. Future trends are likely to include pharmacies having multiple consultation rooms, more screening and the likelihood of pharmacies being used for future flu jabs and COVID jabs.


2020 Statistics


> 75% of transactions were first time buyers

> 32.5% Average Gross Margin

> 0.96p in £ Goodwill/Sale Price

> EBITDA/Adjusted Net Profit multiple 7.17x

> £587,000 average sale price

> 7.2 months – the average length of time taken to completion from signing Heads of Terms


Work with the pharmacy specialists

Pharmacy Seekers are the community pharmacy specialists. If you need some informal advice now about buying or selling a pharmacy in the current market and what changes you might anticipate over the coming months contact us at

Selling your pharmacy

Overcoming Property Issues

30 October 2020

Selling your pharmacy

There are two property decisions to make when selling your pharmacy if you own the freehold of the property. Do you want to retain the property and benefit from the rental income and user this as part of your pension pot or do you want to sell on the freehold to the new owner. A conversation with your tax advisor or accountant may help you decide.




If you wish to retain the freehold this may favour some first time buyers as they have to find less money to complete the purchase. However, many people complete purchases and then make arrangements to sell on the freehold and take a lease for themselves, known a s a “sale and leaseback”. On the other hand, some purchasers would prefer to acquire the freehold and own the building as an asset within the business.


You will need to obtain an up to date freehold value of your property and have ready any certificates such as an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and an asbestos survey and also supply information on rates payable.


You will need to provide insurance for the whole building and generally you will be liable for all external repairs (other than glazing). The buyer will insure the contents and glazing.


If you are creating a new lease for the buyer your lawyer will be able to advise you. Key issues to include in the new lease are things such as sub-letting permissions, structural alterations, signage permissions and clauses that will ensure a return of a good standard of property back to you at the end of the lease term.


Normally a valuation takes place by the buyers lender so you will need to provide access for this.




If you are the leaseholder usually this can be assigned to the new owner. Sometimes this can be an issue if the buyer is seen as a non-secure tenant. In these cases, sometimes a personal guarantee may be requested by the Landlord.


A copy of the lease will need to be provided to the buyers lawyers.


If the lease has less than 5 years to run your buyers lender will usually request that an extension (or new lease) is obtained, as most lenders will require 10 years of the lease remaining to cover the term of the loan. In this scenario you will need to accept your Landlord will be made aware you are selling your business and it may get out into the public domain. It’s far easier if you approach the Landlord and secure an extension before the selling process starts.


You will still ned to make available any certificates such as an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and an asbestos survey along with information on rates payable.


As always, your lawyer will be well versed in all these issues and will be able to advise you and help you through the process.


Work with the pharmacy specialists


All of this may seem like a lot of work but Pharmacy Seekers can assist you with many of these tasks. You will want the best price for your pharmacy and preparation is the key to promoting and subsequently selling your pharmacy.


If you need some informal advice now about selling your pharmacy contact or

Preserving, protecting and growing your personal wealth during pharmacy transactions

02 August 2020



Pharmacists across the country have been through challenging times over the last few years, as they have faced combined threat of:


The threat of new entrants such as supermarkets.

Online provision of medicines supply.

Constant review of the NHS contract.


Consequently, many pharmacists have been forced to adapt and change their business models to ensure that they can continue to grow and participate in this increasingly challenging environment.


Pharmacy Seekers are happy to recommend a specialist financial consultancy to help you maximise your personal wealth when buying or selling pharmacies.


For many years Woolhouse Douglas have specialised in addressing the financial issues, both business and personal, which affect those in community pharmacy. Their advice and guidance has helped a range of clients protect their estates against the ever-present risk of inheritance tax, as well as developing effective exit strategies so that they release true value from their business asset when they come to retire or change direction.


By developing long-term trusted relationships with clients and understanding their objectives and aspirations for the future, Woolhouse Douglas empower clients to make astute business and personal decisions. They see their role as one of education, motivation, support and guidance. They work with you to develop tailored solutions to meet your unique circumstances.


Preserving, Protecting and Growing Your Personal Wealth


Woolhouse Douglas can offer you the benefit of a single relationship to meet all your financial needs and give you reassurance by planning for your long-term security. Whatever your circumstances, they will work closely with you to create a financial strategy personalised to your specific needs as an individual, your family and your business.


Their work is structured in three stages:






The “plan” stage is the most crucial part of building a financial future as it is the foundation upon which resilience and success is based. In order to build a robust plan, Woolhouse Douglas will work with you in the following areas:


Ensure that you have an up to date Will in place. If not, ensure a Will is discussed.

Visualise your exit from the business. What does financial retirement mean for you?

Piece together all your assets with value. This includes every pension plan, insurance policy with value, stocks, shares, ISAs, bonds and unit trusts.

Maximise the tax free investments, such as pensions and ISAs.

Have a review time each year to ensure the plan is on track.


Woolhouse Douglas will help you build your financial future in a simple structured way. All meetings are without cost or obligation. Please feel free to contact them on 0114 2808010 or

Selling Your Pharmacy


17 July 2020

Selling Your Pharmacy


You’ve made the decision to sell your pharmacy so how long does the process take and when can you expect to have the money in your bank?


If you haven’t downloaded our Roadmap to Selling yet, then click here for your copy to help guide you through the process.


Timescales when selling your pharmacy


Stage 1  | 0 weeks


Once you have appointed a Sales Agent the timescales are typically as follows, although like any legal complicated process, this can vary if unexpected issues come to light.


Stage 2   |  2 – 4 weeks


Assembling all the relevant documents


Stage 3   |  4 – 6 weeks


Marketing your pharmacy – depending on the interest in your pharmacy this period may be shorter or could extend if the sales market is in a trough. Your agent will advise you.


Stage 4   |  1 week


Review the offers and decide on the one you wish to accept.

Your agent will draw up a Heads of Terms document for both seller and buyer to sign which will instruct their respective lawyers as to the bones of the deal.


Stage 5, 6 & 7   |  8 – 12 weeks


The legal process is complicated and each parties solicitors are trying to get the best deal for their clients so an amount of negotiating on the Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) or Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) is normal.

Landlords will also fall into this area for the assignment of the lease or if Freehold, a valuation. Dealing with landlords can be difficult and time consuming so if you know them well, letting them know in advance you are selling and who the prospective buyer is would be very helpful. The buyers funders will also require a valuation of the business.


Stage 8 & 9  |  Up to 4 months


This stage depends on the deal – an Asset deal requires a Change of Ownership which takes around 3 -4 months unless a Management Agreement is put into place whereby the transaction can happen sooner. A Management Agreement allows the new owner to operate the pharmacy on your behalf whilst the Change of Ownership is processed. You are still personally responsible for any legal issues with regards to the pharmacy but the new owner operates it and retains the income. A Share deal (Company Sale) can be completed a lot quicker. The stocktake is competed the day prior or the day of completion.


Stage 10  |  2 weeks to 3 months


If an asset deal then stock is paid for within 2 weeks and your money for the sale will be in your bank on completion.


If a Company deal although you are paid for all of the share value on completion, the stock value is tied up with the completion accounts as an adjustment and completion accounts generally take around 3 -4 months to complete. This when you would get your money for the net current assets. Your accountant can work out an approximate value of the net current assets that could be used on day one and then adjusted after 3-4 months.


Some of the above stages can be run together so it’s not quite as bad as it looks!


The process as a whole


In summary then typically a deal is between 20 and 30 weeks, one difference between the types of deal is the Change of Ownership but if you are happy to submit this early into the legal process this cuts down on the time but, the sale will then be in the public domain so your staff may find out – usually from your wholesale delivery driver !!


Work with the pharmacy specialists


All of this may seem like a lot of work but Pharmacy Seekers can assist you with many of these tasks. You will want the best price for your pharmacy and preparation is the key to promoting and subsequently selling your pharmacy.


If you need some informal advice now about selling your pharmacy contact or