Buying or Selling a Pharmacy

What are some of the issues with buying or selling a pharmacy business? Chris Peace, who heads our pharmacy team, answers some frequently asked questions.

I am looking to buy my first pharmacy business – where do I start?

If you don't have a particular target business in mind, it is worth registering as an interested buyer with all of the main pharmacy sales agents. We can recommend the individuals that you would need to speak to in this regard. Given that we have a large number of contacts in the sector, we may also know of some businesses which may be likely to be marketed for sale in the future.

How long can I expect a pharmacy sale or purchase to take?

It depends on whether a bank is funding the transaction, and also what type of transaction it is – whether shares in a limited company are being sold, or whether the assets of the business are being sold. Usually a share sale transaction with a bank-funded purchaser will take around 3 or 4 months, and asset deals typically take 1 or 2 months longer than that, due to the NHS change of ownership requirements. Be prepared though – transactions can sometimes take longer for unexpected reasons!

If I'm selling or buying, do I need to tell my NHS Local Area Team?

Particularly with an asset sale where the NHS contract itself is moving to a new entity, the consent of the Local Area Team of the NHS is required (which may also necessitate a Fitness to Practice application). There is a formal process to follow on which we can provide guidance – and we also know a few tricks regarding how to make that process as fast as possible!

How much of my time will the sale or purchase of a pharmacy take up?

Probably more than you expect! It can be a time intensive exercise for you, particularly if you are purchasing your first pharmacy and don't have any experience of the process. However, that's why we're here. We'll do our best to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible, and we pride ourselves on the quality of the support and advice that we provide. Don't just take our word for it, however. Here are some of the comments that our clients have said about us:

"Throughout the sale of my pharmacies, I continued to work full-time. The fact Chris and his team, through their experience and working knowledge of retail pharmacy, were able to oversee the process without my continual involvement was a great help. I was kept well informed, usually by email, throughout the process. I firmly believe their specialist knowledge of this sector put them in a position to negotiate the best possible terms to the final agreement."

"We used Shulmans in the recent sale of one of our pharmacies. I have to say I cannot fault the service received. They did everything they said they would when they said they would."

"I am very grateful for Chris' help and guidance with my pharmacy sale. It has now hit home to me how his expertise made the sale go through so smoothly and how he was able to anticipate any possible issues at every stage of the process."

"We were very pleased to be supported by Chris during the sale of our pharmacy on our retirement, with both the share transfer and lease details. Any anxieties, questions or queries we had were resolved promptly, either by phone or e-mail. Completion took place on the expected date and the service provided throughout was first-class."

Our team

Chris Peace



Direct Line +44 (0)113 297 7733

Lyn Dario


Environmental & Regulatory

Direct Line +44 (0)113 297 3779

Kieran Wilkinson


Real Estate

Direct Line +44 (0)113 297 7730

Marcus Armstrong



Direct Line +44 (0)113 297 7736

Edwina Hewson


Property Finance

Direct Line +44 (0)113 207 0187