Co-op Funeralcare has agreed to sell its crematoria business, including a site in Glasgow, to listed rival Dignity as the mutual group focuses on its core funeral homes business.
Dignity is to pay £43 million in cash for the Craigton crematorium in Glasgow and four other locations in Greater Manchester, Shropshire, South Yorkshire and Staffordshire.
Chief executive Mike McCollum said: “This acquisition will allow us to extend our crematoria network into new geographical areas. It represents a good investment for Dignity, using cash already held by the group, and supports our continued growth.”
Dignity, which already operates 39 crematoria across the UK, said the five locations being acquired generated underlying earnings of £2.9m in the year to 3 January and had gross assets of about £10.9m.
Co-op Funeralcare said the proceeds from the sale, which follows a competitive bidding process, would be invested in its 900-strong funeral home estate and “strengthening its customer offer through the roll-out of new products and services”.
Managing director Richard Lancaster said: “I would like to personally thank our crematoria colleagues for their ongoing professionalism and hard work in serving bereaved families. I wish them the very best for the future as they continue to provide excellent levels of service within their local communities.
“With a limited presence in the overall market, our crematoria operation is a small part of our business, operating distinctly and separately from our funeral homes. The sale will enable us to invest in making our funeral home services more accessible, both in terms of our presence in new communities and by enhancing our customer proposition and services.”
No redundancies are planned under the deal, which is expected to complete on 5 July.