Finance

Carriage Services acquires North Carolina funeral homes and cemetery

Foundation Partners why I partnered

It was announced last week in this press release that Carriage Services, headquartered in Houston, Texas, acquired substantially all of the assets of the Heritage Funeral and Cremation Services and Forest Lawn East Cemetery.  The businesses are located in the Charlotte, North Carolina, market territory and consist of three stand alone funeral homes, a cemetery, and a cremation focused business.

Steve Metzger, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Carriage Services said this about the acquisitions, “. . .The addition of Heritage, as a leader serving more than 1,200 families a year in one of the fastest growing markets in the country, aligns well with our focus on partnering with the best remaining independent funeral and cemetery businesses in high growth strategic markets. . . “

In addition, Metzger commented about the acquisition in Carriage Service’s Earnings Call last week. . . in that call he commented, “As it relates to our growth through acquisition outlook, we were excited to announce our acquisition of a premier funeral and cemetery business in Charlotte, North Carolina earlier this week. Heritage Funeral and Cremation Service and Forest Lawn East Cemetery is one of the leaders in the Charlotte area with a greater than 25% share of the market. . . .   Heritage served more than 1200 families last year, with multiple funeral homes, a cemetery and a dedicated cremation business. We are well positioned for broad growth and one of the more attractive markets in the country. . . .”

More acquisitions on the horizon?

In both the press release and the earnings call Metzger also teased about another acquisition that may be coming Carriage Service’s way when he said this, “We’re also pleased to announce that we’re currently under a letter of intent to acquire an impressive business that serves as the leader in another large strategic market. We’re particularly excited about this opportunity, and it’s one that reached out to us directly to explore if Carriage may be the right succession option for their business.. . “

What is Carriage Services looking for in an acquisition?

Metzger also seemed to answer that question in the earnings call with this statement, “First, we’re looking for strong growing markets, and this usually means a larger market with positive demographic trends and forecasts. Second, we’re looking for businesses that have a leading reputation and serve as a top brand in the market. And third, there must be a clear and strong path to future growth and expansion. “

Significant growth in a short time period.

Here is what Metzger says that Carriage Services has done lately.  “Our recent Heritage and San Juan (Funeraria San Juan Florida – Press Release here) acquisitions along with the large business we currently have under letter of intent will combine to add approximately 4,500 funeral calls and 1,500 interments to our annual companywide totals. To put the impact of these three acquisitions in perspective, those combined numbers will represent a greater than 10% increase to annual companywide totals for funeral costs, and a greater than 15% increase to our total annual interments. That’s significant growth in a short period of time.”

According to the press release Carriage Services operates 173 funeral homes in 26 states and 32 cemeteries in 11 states.

Here is the website for Heritage Funeral and Cremation Services of Charlotte, North Carolina.

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