Who Will Buy Your Equine Veterinary Practice?

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By Amy Grice, VMD, MBA

January 26, 2017

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Not having an appropriate veterinary successor complicates the exit strategies of practice owners, as the most successful buyer is generally one who is already well-established within the practice.
Editor's note: There were many veterinary business and work/life balance presentations at the 2016 AAEP Convention. In the March/April 2017 issue of
EquiManagement magazine, there is a feature that contains a number of summaries of presentations from the Convention, brought to you by Zoetis. An additional four original articles from the Convention will be posted on EquiManagement.com, brought to you by Zoetis.

At the 2016 AAEP Convention in Orlando, this author reported on findings from a survey of AAEP listserv members conducted in late 2014.

A series of questions was used to try to determine why equine practice owners commonly experience difficulty finding associates interested in buying an ownership interest when the current practice owner(s) wish to sell shares. As I commented, not having an appropriate successor complicates the exit strategies of owners, as the most successful buyer is generally one who is already well-established within the practice.

This article will provide not only facts and figures from that survey, but insights into how to overcome the problems that were noted.

For example, one of the findings from the survey was:

• A strong majority (82%) of associates responded that they were interested in practice ownership as a partner or shareholder. Only 18% indicated no interest. Small group (2-6 veterinarians) associates were somewhat more interested in ownership (84%) than large group (7 or more veterinarians) associates (76%). (See Figure 1.) 

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