Family owned Grimsby pharmacy sold to first time buyer

This is the 2nd pharmacy that we have recently sold in the Grimsby area. Mr Tim Cottingham (brother to Mike) shares his thoughts and feedback on this recent sale.

Please tell us a little bit about the history of your pharmacy; when and how you acquired the business?

The Grimsby site has been family owned since 1959, I effectively took it over from our dad from 1988 the day I qualified as a pharmacist and he retired fairly quickly after that.

What made you decide to sell the business?

As the pharmacy was family owned and I spent a lot of time there growing up, I had no illusions on how owning and running a pharmacy would dominate my life. Thus from my first days, knowing the ongoing commitment needed, I set a date to sell and planned an exit strategy. That way I had a robust plan that would allow me to start a different career at a relatively young age if I so wished or start retirement fully financially independent.  In other words, the decision was in no way influenced by outside events, it was totally pre-planned.

What were your concerns going into the sale process?

My biggest concern was that the pharmacy was very difficult to sell due to its location and the nature of the services that it provided (lots of methadone and Needle Exchange)

What made you choose Hutchings to handle your sale?

A very good pharmacist friend of mine sold his pharmacy through Hutchings about 2 years ago. That, alongside recommendation from the NPA was more than sufficient for me. As a side issue, we were already aware of a pair of local pharmacies that was offered for sale by one of your competitors around two years previously. Those pharmacies were on the market for over a year, maybe two and didn’t actually sell until they fell into administration and were snapped up at a bargain price by a large multiple.

How did you find dealing with Hutchings and our team?

Very straight forward. All calls and emails returned promptly.

What are you most looking forward to now that your sale has completed?

How long have you got? I have an extensive list of things that I have not been able to do due to the time it takes to run a pharmacy and the sacrifices that I have made. So it’s the time to devote to everything I have neglected for way too long.

Within four days of the sale, I already knew that I didn’t want to retire. So we are calling it a gap year and I have some interesting projects that might just fill my time very well.

What do you think will be the biggest benefits for you, now you have sold the business?

I want to leave the constant anxiety behind me. If I can lose that, it’s been well worth it. Would have preferred to have completed in the summer but it was out of my hands.

Is there anything else you would like to add that may be useful for pharmacy owners who are thinking of selling to know, having been through the process?

It all takes time so not to have unrealistic goals to be sold in a particular time frame. So keen focussed on the successful running of the pharmacy right upto the very last day.

Would you recommend Hutchings to other pharmacy owners?

Yes, without hesitation

Thank you to Tim for his comments and for choosing Hutchings to handle his sale. We wish him well with his new projects.

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