Stoneycroft Practice – Sale & Leaseback Case Study


Sale and Leaseback - GP Surveyors

Stoneycroft Medical Practice in Liverpool, a thriving purpose-built practice was owned and occupied by three GP Partners who were all looking to retire and release their equity from the property.

Having previously carried out the surgeries Notional Rent review, the partners contacted GP Surveyors to advise them upon the potential Sale and Leaseback of their surgery.

Dr. Liz Bainbridge, (former part-owner) commented:

“Three years ago, GP Surveyors worked successfully for us to secure a significant uplift in the Notional rent paid annually by NHSE for our Practice building. So, when planning our retirement and succession for the Practice we had no hesitation in returning to GP Surveyors for advice regarding the most appropriate HoTs for a new lease and then the sale of the building.”

The Partners met with Rebecca Adams (GP Surveyors, Business Development Manager) for a full consultation of their options. Option one was to recruit new partners to buy out the existing partners and take over the GMS contract. Option two was to recruit new partners who did not want to buy in and become landlords, with a lease in place between themselves and new GPs as tenants. This lease would then be sold. Option three was the sale and transfer of the property and GMS contract to an alternative provider. Option four was to transfer the GMS Contract to an alternate provider, whilst agreeing to a lease in tandem with the alternate provider. This lease would then be sold. Option five was to merge with a neighbouring practice and put a lease in place between the existing property-owning partners (Landlords) and the GP’s from the neighbouring surgery (Tenant’s). This lease would then be sold.

Having discussed their specific situation and requirements with Rebecca, the Partners decided that option five was the most realistic, as a neighbouring surgery had already expressed interest and were looking to expand. GP Surveyors were therefore instructed to proceed on this basis.

The next step in the process was for Rebecca to consult with the Stoneycroft partners and the incoming practice partners to identify their lease requirements. The Stoneycroft partners were seeking to maintain investment value and this needed to be balanced with the incoming partner’s desire to have a lease that the NHS body would approve as value for money, when an application for financial assistance was made under the Premises Cost Directions.

Once Heads of Terms were agreed and signed by all the practice partners, Rebecca sent them to the practices’ solicitors, Hill Dickinson LLP, for them to draft the surgeries lease. The lease was then finalised and successfully passed through the NHS lease approval process first time.

Dr. Liz Bainbridge, commented:

“GP Surveyors worked seamlessly with our Solicitor at Hill Dickinson to produce Heads of Terms for the new lease, and the guidance of the team, particularly from Paul Conlan and Rebecca Adams, was invaluable in guiding us away from any potential pitfalls. This enabled the prompt preparation of a new lease that was suitable for all parties involved, whilst also complying with NHSE criteria, and our Practice merger progressed as planned.”

The next stage in the process was for GP Surveyors to begin to market the surgery. GP Surveyors developed bespoke sales literature, including the finalised lease, photographs, and floor plans of the property. Stoneycroft Medical Practices’ sales literature was then sent to GP Surveyors’ extensive database of over 300 specialist primary care investors and the property listed on our website.

Several suitable offers for the property were received, and Rebecca began negotiations with the potential purchasers to ensure the best outcome for the Partners. Having financially qualified the interested parties’ final bids, Rebecca presented them to the Partners, advising as to which offer GP Surveyors consider would be most beneficial. The Partners’ final decision was to accept the offer of a private investor, who held a portfolio of other primary care premises. Rebecca then managed the process through to completion and exchange.

GP Surveyors’ Sale and Leaseback of Stoneycroft Medical practice achieved a sale price that the departing partners were very pleased with and enabled them to release their equity and enjoy their retirement.

The new GPs continued to practice from the premises under the lease, with the security that the lease rent would be reimbursed by the NHS body. Succession could also be eased, as new partners no longer need to raise significant funds to buy into the Practice.

Dr. Liz Bainbridge, commented:

“GP Surveyors offer a wealth of experience and expertise, and we found the business contract we agreed with them was straightforward and easy to understand, giving us confidence to allow them to undertake the work necessary for us, whilst we continued our busy lives in GP practice. The contract came with no hidden costs, so at the start of this process we had a very clear idea of the likely end price to us for their professional input, so we could be sure of financial implications at an early stage of this whole process.

Throughout the sale process we were well supported by Rebecca Adams, whose warm professionalism and positivity helped keep the whole sale process moving forward to successful completion. A job well done by GP Surveyors.”