UK funeral firm on the market

Mon, 07 Feb 2011

L.M. Funerals, one of the largest funeral operators in the United Kingdom, is up for sale with a price tag of up to £100m.

Sovereign Capital, the private equity owner of the firm, has reportedly received serious interest from private equity companies since last year’s strategic review carried out by BDO. Those interested are thought to include LDC, ECI and LGV as well as the quoted funeral director, Dignity. Several entrepreneurs have also stepped forward to register an interest in a possible acquisition.

In the year to 30 June, 2010, the company recorded profits of £2.1m on revenues of £11.6m. Turnover was up about ten per cent over the previous year, partly attributable to its acquisition of several independent funeral directors. Its appetite for growth through acquisition remains undiminished - only last month the company bought the 200 year-old Staffordshire-based F M & J Wait & Co Limited.

L.M.Funerals has more than doubled its sites to 69 since Sovereign’s acquisition of the business in 2003. Apparently the company still has a strong deal flow in the pipeline and a new owner could do well to keep the incumbent CEO, Deborah Kemp (formerly MD of Punch Taverns and more recently COO of Devere Hotels & Resorts) in situ.

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