Funeral Partners is to become the third largest funeral company in the UK with the acquisition of the majority of the Laurel Funerals business.
Funeral Partners, based near Reading, is to take ownership of 47 branches, while Dignity is purchasing the remaining branches, following Laurel’s sale by the Duke Street private equity consortium.
Funeral Partners’ Chief Executive Phillip Greenfield said: “This is an extremely important move for us as it will give us coverage in towns where we don’t currently operate, particularly across the south and the Midlands.
“We will be combining the best of Funeral Partners with the best of Laurel Funerals to build an even stronger business, while continuing to deliver a sensitive and professional service to grieving families.”
Funeral Partners’ ethos of ‘A life well remembered lives on’ will flow into the new business, though former Laurel branches will retain the names of the 18 different brands, albeit with new branch fascias.
Funeral Partners’ Managing Director John Whigham added: “We will be retaining the identities of the individual brands, many of which date back to the 19th century and have built up a loyal customer base in their local communities.
“We are looking forward to working closely with our new staff as we continue to develop Funeral Partners as an organisation with a reputation for reliability, trust and quality and set new standards in this honourable and historic profession.
“This acquisition means we now have almost 500 staff operating in 130 branches across the UK and underlines our intent to continue to acquire good quality funeral businesses as we grow our network across the country.”