Charles Cowling

dignity_1

 

Yorkshire-headquartered Yew Holdings has been acquired by rival funeral services provider Dignity in a deal priced at £58.3m.

Dignity has also announced plans for a share placing to raise £24.2m before expenses. The acquisition comprises 40 funeral locations and two crematoria located in the north of England.

Dignity added there were “significant opportunities” to improve the financial performance of Yew’s funeral portfolio. It said the deal should lead to a “high degree of operational efficiency”.

In a statement the company said: “Like Dignity, Yew trades under established local brand names. 

More here and here

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour – 1 Peter 5:8

Hat tip: The Man

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andrew plumeCharles CowlingDavid HolmesCharlesMr XX Recent comment authors

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David Holmes
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Your lack of interest does not surprise me Charles. (If you see what I mean.)

Whatever happened to proper consumer journalism? I suppose we have few journalists and no editor wants to rock the boat – the big firms are advertisers after all.. and it’s just so much easier to do stories on greedy banks and utility companies.

Few people are interested in death – they think it’ll never happen to them – or those they love.

The public eh. What can we do!

Charles
Guest

There seems to be this idea among investors that you can’t go wrong if you invest in undertakers because everybody dies whatever the state of the economy. They also swallow the orthodox view that consolidation is a Good Thing per se. Amazingly superficial.

I contacted a consumer journalist on a major broadsheet. Naff all.

Mr XX
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Mr XX

The Dignity business model is both cynical and hopeless. They seem content to do fewer funerals for more and more money – maintaining the growth in profit. However – if you follow that to its ultimate conclusion – you end up doing very few funerals for way too much money. The model is bound to fail in the long term. It also bothers me that as before – clueless investors lap-up any old nonsense when it comes to investing in funeral plc’s. They never learn. It’s a fragmented industry, putting up prices only works for so long before new competition… Read more »

Jed
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Jed

‘Dignity said there were significant opportunities to improve the financial performance of Yew’s funeral portfolio. Yew achieved an average income per funeral of £1,565 in the 12 months to July 2012 compared to Dignity’s £2,350 in the year to December 2011.’
Looks like an ‘opportunity’ of around £785 per funeral just by putting the price up. People of the North be canny in your choice of funeral director.

a local celebrant
Guest
a local celebrant

There actually isn’t much choice….. I can count on the fingers of one hand the truly independent FD’s that operate within this area. The staff that I know who work within the group are excellent. Am still slightly in shock after reading this last night, had all kinds of weird coffin dropping dreams!

David Holmes
Guest

£58 million for 40 funeral offices and two crems? Wow!

It looks like an awful lot of operating efficiencies will be needed to get any return on that much.. Unless they’ve seriously over-paid?

I know what I think 🙂

And I think I know too how they’ll try and ensure they get a profit..

andrew plume
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andrew plume

Well David, they’ve certainly paid a not insignificant amount for part but not all of the former Yew business. This to me is a very sizeable acquisition and moves the assets of a former private holding Company into the Plc owned sphere Anticipating subsequent ‘competition issues’ (and the predecessors of Dignity had their fair share), 20 branches, the Yew head office and their manufacturing business did not form part of the deal and were retained by the previous shareholders (with a separate valuation of £21m). Yew were said to be number 3 in the UK funeral market before their acquisition… Read more »

Fran Hall
Guest

Probably because they are none the wiser Kathryn. The names Yew Holdings and Dignity are invisible to the average customer of the funeral directors involved. Perhaps if the reports in the press listed the familiar names above the shop fronts (Frank Stephenson & Son, E. Hurton & Son, H.J. Whalley & Sons, John Parkin & Son, The Taylor Funeral Service Ltd etc etc and so on and so forth) as being sold off to become part of the 600+ Dignity PLC multi million £££ profit-making company, then there might be a bit of a whimper of concern – howling is… Read more »

Kathryn Edwards
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Kathryn Edwards

Fuckety fuck. Why aren’t people howling in the streets of ‘the north of England’?

Jonathan
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Jonathan

Well, I must say that when it comes to a funeral, ‘a high degree of operational efficiency’ is, of course, the very thing I want most from my funeral provider. Bugger raw humanity, I’ll take out some of those shares today.