Finance

Acquisitions keep on rolling around the world

There are a lot of reasons that businesses, including funeral homes, change operational and ownership hands.  Sometimes a single proprietor gets a price that he just can’t turn down.  Sometimes a single proprietor just wants to retire and either has no family to go into the business or family that wants to pursue other goals and ambitions.

Sometimes the transaction is spurred by the acquiring company that wants to get larger and has ideas where, through operational efficiencies and promotion,  it can take 1 + 1 and total three.

At the end of the day, there are a lot of reasons for mergers and acquisitions – especially in the funeral profession.  And those reasons seem to be coming up at, what some would call a frenetic pace in the profession right now.  Today, we will give you some links to acquisitions that involve companies in Australia, the United States, and Canada.

All of these transactions were announced in the last ten days and all happened, more than likely, with differing reasons from the buyers and sellers in mind.  At the end of the day, however, they all happened, and from my point of view, that somewhat reflects the ongoing trend in the profession of consolidation.

Propel Funeral Partners – Propel Funeral Partners, Australia’s 2nd largest death care provider, recently made an acquisition on Australia’s Sunshine Coast Region.  In this article you can read about Propel’s purchase of Gregson & Weight and the determination by the Australian Competition and Commerce Commission (ACCC) that the purchase will not have an effect on the competitive balance of the market in that area.

It was interesting to note from the article, however, that the ACCC made this statement, “The ACCC also notes concerns from market participants regarding a trend in the death care industry of continued minor acquisitions of funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries.  The ACCC notes that in this industry consumers can be particularly vulnerable, and the ACCC will continue to investigate acquisitions and consolidation closely.”

You can see the Gregson & Weight web-site here.

InvoCare – InvoCare is Australia’s largest provider of death care services and like Propel Funeral Partners, a public company.  It was recently announced in this article that they had acquired two firms in southern New South Wales.

The article makes mention that the companies being acquired are Batemans Bay and Moruya District Funerals as well as Broulee Memorial Gardens.  Again, according to the article, Batemans/Moruya does a call volume of about 400 with revenues of about US$ 2.04 million (AUS $3 million) and Broulee performs about 380 services per year.

You can see the Bateman’s Bay and Moruya District Funeral Home web-site here.

You can see the Broulee Memorial Garden web-site here.

Foundation Partners Group – This Orlando, Florida, based company states that it operates funeral homes, cremation centers, and cemeteries in 19 states and is actively seeking to expand across the United States.

Just a couple of days ago the company announced that it has purchased its third location in the Tucson, Arizona, market by acquiring  OASIS Cremation and Funeral Care in that city.  You can read the company’s press release on the subject here.

Bob Bukala, Foundation Partners Group President and CEO commented, “. . .Their rapid growth and commitment to compassionate care makes OASIS a wonderful addition to the Foundation Partners Family.”

According to the press release, OASIS has been in business less than two years.  You can see their web-site here.

Park Lawn Corporation – Finally, public company Park Lawn Corporation, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, mentioned in their 3rd Quarter report that in October of this year they had signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Journey Group Texas One and Journey Group Texas Two.  This acquisition is expected to close before the end of the year and will add five cemeteries and five funeral homes to the Park Lawn portfolio in the state of Texas.  We will bring you more on this when we report on the Park Lawn 3Q results next week.

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