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Funeral group Dignity acquires Yew for 58.3m pounds

FTSE 250 funeral homes group Dignity has conditionally agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of Yew Holdings for a total cash consideration of 58.3m pounds on a debt-free cash-free basis.

FTSE 250 funeral homes group Dignity has conditionally agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of Yew Holdings for a total cash consideration of 58.3m pounds on a debt-free cash-free basis.

The acquisition - part of Dignity's aggressive growth plan- comprises 40 funeral locations and two crematoria located in the North of England.

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In addition to the transaction, the company additionally announced that it had fully underwritten the placing of 2,283,019 new ordinary shares in Dignity to raise approximately £24.2m before expenses.

This, together with £39.8m of new debt, is expected to be used to fund the acquisition including approximately £2.5m of one-off capital expenditure and all other transaction fees.

Yew is a funeral and crematoria business which operates in the North of England and Dignity intends to sell its own pre-arranged funeral plans through the new Yew branches post completion.

The unaudited financial performance for Yew for the fiscal year 2012 delivered an income of £11.3m and earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITDA) of £5.2m.

In the 39-week period ending September 28th, Dignity generated revenue of £169.4m, up 8.7% from the corresponding period in 2011. Underlying operating profit was also up 10.3% to £53.4m for the same period, compared to £48.4m in the same period in 2011.

Since flotation, Dignity has successfully acquired and integrated 93 funeral locations and 15 crematoria into the group.

MF

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