ELPRINCE SAMAAN – SELLER.
Two childhood friends growing up in Egypt would not have imagined they would end up in Australia as business partners. The previous owner of Ardlethan Pharmacy and Aria Park Pharmacy, Elprince Samman (known as “Prince” to everyone) grew up in Egypt. After attaining his pharmacy degree in 2002 at Cairo University, he started working locally as a pharmacist. However, he had also been thinking of moving to Australia for quite some time. So, in 2007, thinking the time was right to make the move, he came to Australia.
On arriving in Australia, as with all foreign pharmacists, he needed to take the mandatory examination to be able to work here. He passed the examination, which meant he could now practice in Australia. The Pharmacy Board of Australia assigned him to commence work at Sally’s Pharmacy, in Lidcombe NSW, to complete the process.
But Prince always had a desire to own his own pharmacy. The prices of Sydney pharmacies were a little out of reach at the time so in 2011 he headed to the country, to the Riverina region of NSW, to do some research on the viability of opening a pharmacy in a country town. He chose a little town called Ardlethan. Population at the time, according to the 2011 ABS stats, of 364. Now, it’s around 500. He checked out the area thoroughly, wandered around the town, spoke to a few of the locals, many of them quite elderly, and found that they had to drive an hour to pick up their medication. Having a pharmacy on the doorstep would indeed be a very welcome addition to the town. He did the numbers, they stacked up, so he went ahead and established Ardlethan Pharmacy that same year.
While working at the pharmacy, and, of course, engaging with the community, he identified another small town, Ariah Park, which was not far away. Only about a 20 to 25 minute drive from Ardlethan. He found, once again, that this was another little town that would benefit from having a local pharmacy. 6 months after opening Ardlethan Pharmacy, Ariah Park Pharmacy opened its doors. Within a short period of time, he had become a two pharmacy owner.
After successfully running the stores for a number of years, he went into partnership in 2019, purchasing a bigger pharmacy this time, Adelong Pharmacy, with his childhood friend from Egypt who had also moved to Australia.
During 2021 he started thinking about selling Ardlethan & Ariah Park Pharmacies. He and his wife now had a young family, two young sons, and in early 2022 he decided it was time to cut back his workload and dedicate more time to them. He contacted me and went on to engaged my brokerage, Greg Aspeling Pharmacy Sales Solutions, to sell and facilitate the sale of the two pharmacies as a package.
VICTOR VO – BUYER.
That’s when Victor Vo appeared on the scene. Victor has a proud background. Victor was born in Sydney, but his Vietnamese parents were amongst some of the “boat people” who survived and made it to Australia’s shores. The year was 1989. Victor went to school in Sydney. He completed Year 12 in 2008 and in 2012 enrolled in the Bachelor of Pharmacy course at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, located in the Riverina region of southern NSW. He relocated to Wagga Wagga and lived on campus until he graduated in 2015. On his return to Sydney, in early 2016, he took a position with Chemist Warehouse in Rose Bay, one of Sydney’s affluent eastern suburbs. From the word go, he decided he wanted to climb the ladder and work his way up to a management role. After 12 months of hard and dedicated work, he became manager of the store, a role which he went on to hold for three and a half years.
However, while he had long aspired to own his own pharmacy, he knew the time wasn’t quite right to branch out. He felt he needed more experience. He left Chemist Warehouse and over the following few years worked for other brands and groups, gaining valuable experience on the job. He became familiar with how these businesses operated. How they maximised their floor space, how they identified products and services that increased the bottom line, what the optimum stock holding and employee numbers were and more.
When Ariah Park and Ardlethan Pharmacies came on the market, he felt he was ready to take the plunge. A few years earlier he had married, and his wife coincidentally happened to be a pharmacist as well. The perfect match for owning two pharmacies! While it is early days yet, they have set their goal on growing these two businesses and going on to bigger things in the years to come.
Both Prince and Victor were a delight to work with. Having pro-active clients during the sales process really helps greatly. Every transaction, without fail, has its own hurdles. If you are not fully hands-on, liaising with everyone involved like solicitors, accountants, lenders etc, the chances of finalising the deal are diminished. You need to be an expert juggler, always keeping those ball up in the air! Anyway, they were always understanding, always ready to jump in when more information was required, and, the deal got done. Victor took over on the 27th July 2022.
When you’ve been in the sales business as long as I have, you instinctively know when you are dealing with good people. These are good people! I wish both Prince, Victor and their families all the best for the future.