Selling to Colony

Deciding to sell your pharmacy? We understand…

We understand that deciding to sell your pharmacy is one of the most difficult decisions that a pharmacy owner will make. Many owners, like our family members, bought or started their stores decades ago, and some have been in the family for generations. We understand the emotional connection and how a small business can become part of your identity. Most important, we understand that independent pharmacy owners want to be treated fairly in the acquisition process, to get maximum value, and to have a transaction that is as smooth and private as possible. As fellow independent pharmacy owners, we understand, and have structured our business around these concerns. We are very good at ensuring fairness and continuity for all stakeholders in the business.

Why Sell To Colony

Here Are The Top Reasons You Should Consider Selling To Colony:

  1. All staff are guaranteed employment, in writing, well before the sale is finalized.
  2. We are not brokers. There is no commission to pay. We don’t represent anyone but ourselves.
  3. You can decide if you want to keep working – from zero to full time to part time.
  4. No script retention requirements like the chains.
  5. The name and location of the store will not change. Your legacy is safe with us.
  6. Colony pays top dollar for the business.
  7. We can move fast. A protracted process can feel like a second job. It’s not good for the buyer or seller.
  8. Our financing is secured.
  9. We disclose all key terms upfront and in writing. There will be no surprises.
  10. Your confidentiality is sacred. We will never disclose your interest in selling, especially to your staff. We provide a written confidentiality certificate.
  11. We are professionals. Do you really want to sell a pharmacy to a first-time buyer?
  12. We believe in “return on character”. You will not find a more reputable buyer for your business, to carry on your legacy and to take care of your staff.
  13. We consider every business interaction as an opportunity for a business reference. We hope that after working with us, you will be future reference on our behalf.

Don’t Sell To A Chain

We are the best alternative to selling to RiteAid, CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, etc. We see no advantage to selling to a chain, and many disadvantages.

If you sell to Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid or another chain, they will close your store, fire your staff, and hold back your payment if they don’t retain your scripts. A chain will not use your premises and leave you with a lease or property. This needs to be deducted from the price you think you are receiving from a chain.

In addition, chains make their offers based on a “price per script” metric. However, they don’t disclose until much later in the process that they will exclude your delivery, out of network, compounding, single-visit, specialty, and out of store (e.g. LTC, assisted living, etc.) scripts, only pay you the full amount if they retain a certain percentage of the scripts, and likely need you to work in their store. When you work for a chain, you give up all the freedom you had as a business owner. If you sell to Colony, none of these things happen.

Colony buys stores anywhere in the US. Chains only buy stores if they have nearby stores.

Are we the right buyer for you?

In all candor, if you are considering selling your pharmacy to a chain, we are probably not the right buyer for you. We are looking for sellers who care about the future of their business and staff. We are looking for sellers who have spent a lifetime building a reputation in the community and want to see it continued by having the store continue to thrive. We have bought stores that have been in the same family for four generations. These sellers would never consider firing staff who they worked with for 30 years and ending their family’s legacy in the community. Neither would we. If that describes you, please give us a call.

How we buy and operate pharmacies.

If we are to purchase your pharmacy, we will pay top dollar for the business. Then, we will keep it as you have. This includes retaining the name and location of the pharmacy; retaining all pharmacy staff on the same terms as you have; retaining the culture, work environment and “feel” of the pharmacy, and ensuring that local management is in charge of the store. We see a fundamental humility to our decentralization – it’s an admission that we do not have all the answers and that much of the real value is created by local managers in the stores. Our goal is to hire the best people we can, which are the existing staff in the store, and give them the responsibility and authority they need to perform their jobs. All operational decisions are made at the local level. We expect our managers to be forever cost conscious and to recognize and capture sales potential, while always putting patients, communities and the reputation of the store first. As such, we would also welcome you, the retiring owner, to work in the store as much or as little as you want (from zero to full time).

If there is something else important to you in a transaction, we would welcome a discussion about it.

Who Are We?

Peter and Aaron are second-generation independent pharmacy owners. Each of our pharmacies is managed and operated by a local manager. Our main store is Colony Drug in Beckley, West Virginia.

Please keep in mind that we are not brokers, and not affiliated with any broker, banner, chain or group. We are independent owners looking to buy more stores. We don’t represent anybody but ourselves – we will be the people who buy and own the store with our own money (and bank financing). You can read more about Peter and Aaron here.

Why are we buying pharmacies?

We are often asked why we are buying retail pharmacies in light of all the industry’s challenges, especially declining reimbursements and competition. While the industry is facing head-on challenges, we believe that if we can adapt, the future of independent pharmacy is sustainable and we want to continue our family legacy and be a part of it.

What Is Our Model?

Our model is simple: we acquire community pharmacies and operate them as our family and seller had. To do this, we follow a 10-point blueprint:

  • Retain the name and location of the pharmacy, and all pharmacy staff on the same terms as the old owner. Each staff member gets their employment guaranteed in writing before the transaction closes. We also typically retain the other service providers to the pharmacy. They know the business best.
  • Keep change to a minimum.
  • Retain the culture, work environment and “feel” of the pharmacy. Staff and patients are loyal to a pharmacy because of its “feel”.
  • Let the retiring owner work in the store as much or as little as they want (from zero to full time) at a fair wage.
  • Focus on the basics.
  • Invest in people and technology.
  • Empower the staff to run the store. Each store has a local manager who is fully empowered to operate and lead the store. We do not operate the business day-to-day – that is the role of the managers. We defer to them.
  • Invest in communities where we buy stores by allowing the managers to sponsor teams and give back to community groups.
  • Grow by expanding the top line, not by cutting expenses.
  • Our holding period for the business is “forever”.

It is that simple and that hard.

Geography: Where are we looking for pharmacies?

We have decided to look for stores all across the US. This is because in each pharmacy, we will have an onsite manager who will manage the day-to-day operations of the business. It is our strong preference that this be someone who already works for the business. If an existing staff member (or seller) is not available or interested, we know how to find a good candidate, and the seller and staff are welcome to be involved in making the selection. Because of the onsite manager, continuity of existing operations is ensured, and we do not need to be physically nearby the store. As such, we are open to opportunities from coast-to-coast.

What are the next steps?

E-mail Aaron Trager at atrager@petaron.com to start a confidential conversation. We will never tell your staff or anyone else about your possible interest in selling.