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Business sales surge

The planned scrapping of capital gains tax relief has prompted a "surge" in pharmacy sales since October, lawyers and business transfer agencies have reported.

From April 1 pharmacy sellers face a capital gains tax bill of 18 per cent, up from the current 10 per cent, prompting those planning to put their businesses on the market to bring sales forward.

But they added that neither the glut of businesses on the market nor the recent category M clawback had reduced sales values.

The number of sales instructions taken by pharmacy law specialists Charles Russell had doubled within the past six weeks, head of healthcare transactions Tim Jenkins said. "[Prices are] still driven by the individual proposition you're selling. It's still a seller's market."

The increase in transactions was confirmed by business transfer agency Orridge Pharmacy Sales. High demand had easily absorbed extra availability without the need for reassessing valuations, sales manager Tony Townsend said.

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