Funeral home operator Service Corp to buy Stewart for $1.4 billion


Funeral home operator Service Corp International has agreed to acquire peer Stewart Enterprises Inc in a deal with an enterprise value of $1.4 billion, the companies said.

Houston-based Service Corp will buy all of Stewart's outstanding Class A and Class B common stock at $13.25 per share, a premium of 36 percent to Tuesday's close.

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The deal is valued at about $1.13 billion based on 85.39 million shares outstanding, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Excluding one-time costs, the deal is expected to add to normalized earnings per share immediately, SCI said.

SCI said it had received a financing commitment from JPMorgan Chase Bank NA. That, together with cash on hand, would be sufficient to complete the acquisition, it said.

The deal has been approved by both companies' boards.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Shearman & Sterling LLP served as financial and legal advisers, respectively, to SCI.

Goldman, Sachs & Co acted as financial adviser to the special committee of Stewart's board of directors. Jones Walker LLP served as legal adviser to Stewart, and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal adviser to company chairman Frank Stewart Jr.

(Reporting by Chris Peters in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)