DLA Piper has advised Sutton Coldfield funeral services group Dignity on a deal to acquire 36 locations from Midland rival Laurel Funerals for £38 million.
Wolverhampton-based Laurel Funerals currently operates 83 locations across the UK.
In order to avoid any potential competition concerns, Dignity will only acquire locations that complement its own geographic spread and will not acquire 47 other locations operated by Laurel, nor Laurel’s head office function.
The acquisition, which is expected to complete on or around July 13, is being funded from cash already held by Dignity
In addition, DLA Piper advised Dignity on a £26.25 million debt facility with the Royal Bank of Scotland, which will be secured against the assets being acquired, together with certain other funeral assets operated outside of the group’s securitisation structure.
Whilst not required to fund the acquisition the facility will provide a source of additional funding for the group if needed.
Mike McCollum, chief executive of Dignity, said: “This acquisition will allow us to extend our funeral network further into areas that we do not currently serve.
“It represents an excellent investment for Dignity, using cash already held by the group and supports our continued growth.”
Noel Haywood, head of DLA Piper’s Birmingham corporate team which led on the transaction, said: “We are delighted to have advised Dignity on another strategically important transaction, following our advising on its acquisition of Yew Holdings in 2013.
“The acquisition will support Dignity’s continued growth as well as extending its funeral network”
The DLA Piper team was led by Mr Haywood and senior associate Nigel Cooke, alongside a team consisting of associates Simon Wright and Kirk Glenn.
In addition, legal director Simon Hambly advised on real estate aspects and legal director James Crellin on finance aspects.
Lawyers from Eversheds in Birmingham acted for RBS in respect of the deal.
The Eversheds team was led by Patrick Davis and included Nathan Pritchard and Fiona Lai.