3i-backed Memora increases shareholding in Serveis Funeraris de Barcelona to 85%

13 Apr 2011

Mémora Group, the market leading funeral services provider on the Iberian Peninsula for parlours, crematoria and cemetery management, has confirmed the acquisition of an additional 36% shareholding in Serveis Funeraris de Barcelona (“SFB”), following approval from the National Competition Commission.  Mémora acquired a 49% stake in SFB in 1998 and has now increased its shareholding to 85%. Barcelona City Hall holds the remaining 15%.

Barcelona City Hall was awarded a minority shareholding in accordance with the European Union legislation with regard to freedom of services, which was approved by a plenary session of the Barcelona City Council in July 2010, when the public tender was announced.

According to Ramón Lafuente, Executive President of Mémora Group: “The acquisition of an additional stake in SFB is part of an ambitious expansion plan carried out by Mémora since 3i backed the buyout of the company in November 2008. Following this latest acquisition, the Mémora Group is valued at €190 million and has 30 centres throughout Catalonia.”

Jorge Quemada, 3i Partner and board member of Mémora, said: “Today is a very important day for Mémora, as it becomes the clear leader in the funeral sector on the Iberian Peninsula. We are very proud of Barcelona City Hall’s aim to maintain the quality of funeral services and to make them accessible to all of its citizens. Our majority shareholding in SFB fits with Mémora Group's strategy of expanding the business and an increasing its presence in Catalonia.”

Eduard Vidal Regard, Memora Group Managing Director commented:  “With our majority shareholding, SFB can now put into action an expansion plan for Catalonia and can move away from its previous competitive disadvantage in public service. SFB will continue to offer the highest quality of service in Barcelona and will maintain the special rates it offers lower income citizens. It will also guarantee the continuation of jobs for current staff.”

The Mémora Group has been invested in SFB since 1998 and has been involved in its development and growth to achieve its current leading position in Catalonia, Spain. 
  
With this acquisition, Mémora Group will strengthen its position as the Catalan market leader, and will shortly relocate its headquarters to Barcelona.

Spectacular growth: 19 new funeral parlours opened in two years

The latest acquisition of a majority shareholding in SFB is part of an ambitious growth and expansion plan that Mémora has been carrying out since 3i backed the buyout of the company in November 2008.

In 2008, the Mémora Group had almost 100 funeral parlours (90 in Spain and 6 in Portugal), 16 crematoria (14 in Spain and 2 in Portugal) and 26 cemeteries (all in Spain). Currently, the group has 119 funeral parlours and 20 crematoria throughout the Peninsula. it has a 12% market share in Spain and 5% in Portugal and employs 1,300 professionals.

For further information, please contact:
Miriam Serrano, 3i Tel: +91 5214419

Notes to editors

About 3i
3i is an international investor focused on Private Equity, Infrastructure andDebt Management, investing in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our business relationships.  These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio, shareholders and fund investors.

3i has been operating in Spain since 1990. It has invested over €1.9 bn from its offices in Madrid and Barcelona. 3i Spain investments include Global Energy Services (GES), Pepe Jeans, Esmalglass, Unión Radio, Renta Corporación, La Sirena, Clínica Baviera and Everis.

About Mémora 
The Mémora group is the main group in the Iberian Peninsula for funeral services and parlours, crematoria and cemetery management.  In 2010 it carried out over 44,000 funeral services and 13,000 cremations. Over 38,000 families from Spain and Portugal gathered in its Chapels of Rest. The group runs and manages 118 funeral homes, 20 crematoria and 25 cemeteries offering global and local solutions.

The Group has over 1,300 staff in 130 funeral companies and in 2010 its turnover was over €150m. As part of its 2009 - 2013 strategic plan, it will invest over €110m in domestic and international expansion.