NASDAL Goodwill Survey - Fewer NHS practices on the market?

09 February 2024

The latest statistics from NASDAL (National Association of Specialist Dental Accountants and Lawyers) and its quarterly Goodwill Survey have been released for the quarter ending October 31, 2023. It includes data on valuations as well as deals completed (i.e., practices bought or sold by NASDAL members’ clients in the period).

The quarter saw a market that continues to be steady and perhaps pausing before greater action later in 2024. Overall, goodwill values were at 151 per cent as a percentage of gross fees - similar to the 145 per cent of the previous quarter and exactly the same as the quarter before that. NHS Practice values saw a big jump - they were at 194 per cent as a percentage of gross fees, up from 148 per cent in the previous quarter. Mixed practices continued this trend - at 178 per cent as a percentage of gross fees, up from 132 per cent in the previous quarter. However, private practice values were at 132 per cent as a percentage of gross fees - up slightly from 145 per cent in the quarter ending April 30, 2023.

Mike Blenkharn, partner and head of dental at UNW LLP, who compiled the Goodwill Survey, commented, “In our experience, we are seeing that lenders are very keen again, which is good news. I think there are perhaps fewer NHS practices on the market, although I do know that there are mini-corporates out there who are looking to target NHS practices.”

Johnny Minford, commercial and development director at DJH Mitten Clarke and NASDAL media officer, added, “I think the market for private practices is settling after the previous growth and see it being steady for some time to come. In harder economic times, NHS practices can offer value, continuity and an increased element of certainty, and the increase in goodwill values may reflect this. I am aware of some owners who are looking specifically for NHS practices to run alongside their private practices - a case of being in a position to maximise the options?”

The goodwill figures are collated from accountant and lawyer members of NASDAL to give a useful guide to the practice sales market. These figures relate to the quarter ending October 31, 2023.

NASDAL reminds readers that as with any averages, these statistics should be treated as a guideline only.