Propel Funeral Partners makes acquisitions. . . are acquisitions larger in general?
Last week North America’s largest funeral service company, Service Corporation International (SCI), announced in their 4th Quarter report “On the acquisition front, we had a very active fourth quarter investing $89 million in four separate transactions across the United States and Canada. These transactions added 14 funeral homes and 3 cemeteries, which included 3 combination locations.”
And also last week, Australian public company Propel Funeral Partners announced, in this release, that they had made acquisitions of two funeral businesses and one pet cremation business that totaled acquisition costs of AUS $ 36.9 million. . .which would equate to about US $25.35 million in US funds.
By my count those two companies, SCI and Propel, acquired 7 different Death Care related businesses for a total of, in U.S. dollars, about $114 million dollars. Per business, counting the 7 transactions as each a separate business, that would equal to over $16 million purchase price per business. While some of these businesses have multiple rooftops and cemeteries included, that number of $16 million per transaction indicates to me that these are pretty big businesses. It also drives home to me, what I have witnessed the past several years, that being that the big public companies are seemingly going after bigger and bigger large private companies more and more.
I think it is well-known that many private funeral home companies will be coming on the market in the near future as their last generational leader comes up on retirement age. And, when you think of where the big public companies can grow fastest it will be on acquiring those big, metropolitan death care companies who already have a large revenue stream. In other words, I believe that the public companies will put their efforts into these large players going forward.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing for funeral, cremation, and cemetery providers who are maybe not in that elite numbers of revenue that would bring the big dogs to your door. It simply opens up the opportunity for local and regional operators to have added incentives to look at your business. And, I think on a relative basis, they too will look at the bigger operations within their relative scale to grow with.
Finally, the “trickle-down” effect to this chasing down the bigger operators should allow for local operators to have some access to acquire and “bolt-on” local competitors to enlarge their own businesses. . . helping those that desire such to grow their operations also. It tells me that as the number of operators seems to get smaller, those operators will have the opportunity to become bigger in number of services and revenue.
The Propel Funeral Partners acquisitions — The acquisitions announced in the above linked press release from Propel Funeral Partners will, according to the release, add AUS $12 million in added revenue, 1,200 funeral services and 7,000 pet cremations to the company’s ledger. Propel Funeral Partners operates in Australia and New Zealand.
More news from the world of Death Care:
- Richard Briede selected as 65th Sugar Bowl President. Crescent City Sports (LA)
- Hawkins-Taylor Funeral Home, a staple in Lexington for decades. News video and print article. 36- WTVQ ABC – Lexington (KY)
- Not all or most funeral expenses are necessary. Original.Newsbreak.com
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In speaking to few industry brokers currently larger funeral homes are selling at 7 to 9 times EBIT. The larger firms are in bidding war. Let hope not a rerun of the SCI Loewen Days. FYI smaller firms average 5 times EBIT but only attracting Regional Operators like us.