August coffin up £23m for funeral group

UK mid-market firm August Equity has acquired Funeral Services Partnership (FSP), the owner of a number of UK funeral businesses, in a deal which will see £23m invested to fund further acquisitions.

The company, which was founded in 2007, was acquired from Aberdeen Asset Managers Growth Capital and Octopus Investments. The new deals sees founder Phillip Greenfield remain as CEO and Graham Hodson, currently a non-executive director, become chairman. They are joined on the board by August partner Philip Rattle and investment director Aatif Hassan.

Rattle said: “This investment has many characteristics that we look for in all our investments; a strong management team with a good track record, a compelling strategy to grow the business and the opportunity to consolidate a fragmented market. We look forward to working with the management team to further develop the business.”

FSP was founded in April 2007 with an initial investment of £4m from Aberdeen Asset Managers. Aberdeen returned to invest a further £1m seven months later alongside £2.75m from Octopus Intermediate Capital.

The deal is the first direct acquisition by August this year, but it has been busy with its buy-and-build strategy for its companies, especially with homecare provider Enara, which it acquired in 2008 and has since completed 10 deals. It has also overseen the purchase of specialist car magazine Total 911 by portfolio company Imagine Publishing, and the bolt-on of publishing house Showboats International to investee business Boat International Media.