Beware of the so-called “Slam Dunk” deal
Steve Mize, ASA September 15, 2020
GCF was engaged to value a pharmacy and the lender quickly explained how “strong” the deal was even stating: "This is a slam dunk!" So, we began the due diligence process and immediately discovered:
Initial thoughts suggested “compounding” (which typically carry a higher profit margin). However, the lender provided limited data for actual prescriptions filled. So, we requested:
- Total Rx filled
- Rx average price
- % of third party insurance vs cash
- List of suppliers
- List of the top 10 Rx sold
- Top 10 referral sources
Upon review of the above data points, we discovered:
- The amount of “cash” sales were astoundingly higher than the industry average;
- The top 5 Rx were narcotics (think of oxycodone) and represented the majority of the Rx filled;
- There were 3 referral sources (all pain management practices) that accounted for nearly 50% of the total Rx. We uncovered numerous articles about “pill mills” and their referring doctors (typically pain management practices).
So, did the value support the loan amount?
NO. Here's why:
On the surface, cash flow supported the purchase price, BUT, further due diligence uncovered risk factors that were unfavorable to value. The deal was not that “strong” after all.