Clearwater International advise Laurel Management Services on Sale to Sovereign Capital

Clearwater Advisor

Midlands-based Laurel Management Services Ltd has been sold in an institutional buy-out at an enterprise value of £17.4 million.

Laurel, which has operations in the Midlands, the Home Counties and the South of England, has grown to be one of the top independent funeral operators in the UK, conducting over 5,500 funerals a year. Since the acquisition in 1995, led by managing director, Graham Hodson, and backed by Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity (AMJPE) and 3i, Laurel has made a number of strategic acquisitions of strong regional funeral businesses and now has operations in the Midlands, Kent, Hertfordshire, Essex, Hampshire and Herefordshire. AMJPE and 3i each initially invested £250,000.

Subsequent funding financed the buy and build strategy culminating in a total AMJPE investment of £2.1 million by each of AMJPE and 3i. AMJPE and 3i have achieved a return of 2.8x the cost of their investment and an IRR of 21.7 per cent. Clearwater International’s Birmingham office negotiated and structured the deal advising 3i, AMJPE and the management team. The Clearwater team were partner Andy Moore and deal leaders Karen Edwards and Gareth Iley.

“This sale is the culmination of eight years of hard work by the whole team. The deal is excellent news for the shareholders and the employees who will benefit from the commitment of the new owners to build on the foundations in place to take the business forward.”

Graham Hodson, Laurel Management Services

“This is a highly regarded business with a strong management team who will go from strength to strength.”

Gareth Iley, Partner, Clearwater International