Co-op Funerals – an odd thing to do

Co-op Funerals agree sale of crematoria as it focuses on core funeral homes business.

Funeral Plan Quotes
Funeral Plan Quotes

Stephen Pett of the Prepaid Funeral Review says “This is an odd move by the Co-op Funerals division.  Why on earth would you sell major assets to your biggest competitor. And then be forced to use them anyway. See if you think this Press Release answers the question satisfactorily. We remain concerned about the effectiveness of the Co-operative model in the modern world – with regret.”

Co-op Funeralcare (“Co-op”) has agreed to sell its crematoria operation to Dignity Plc (“Dignity”.) As the mutual focuses on investment in its core funeral homes business.

Co-op Funerals
Co-op Funerals

Co-op will receive £43m* for the five crematoria. The proceeds will be reinvested in its funeral home estate. In addition to strengthening its customer offer through the rollout of new products and services.  This forms part of the £1.3 billion planned investment being made by the Co-op Group over a three year period.  Seeking to improve the products and services available to its members and the communities in which they live.

As part of the conditions of the crematoria sale, which follows a competitive bidding process, all colleagues will TUPE transfer.  There are no planned redundancies.

Co-op Funerals Crematoria – going.

Co-op’s crematoria are based in Craighton, Glasgow; Emstrey, Shropshire; Grenoside, South Yorkshire; Lichfield, Staffordshire; and Stockport, Greater Manchester.

Richard Lancaster, Managing Director of Co-op Funeralcare said.

“I would like to personally thank our crematoria colleagues for their ongoing professionalism and hard work in serving bereaved families. I wish them the very best for the future as they continue to provide excellent levels of service within their local communities.

“This agreement is key in allowing us to further invest in providing essential funeral services to our members and customers in communities across the UK as we have done for over 100 years. With a limited presence in the overall market, our crematoria operation is a small part of our business, operating distinctly and separately from our funeral homes. The sale will enable us to invest in making our funeral home services more accessible, both in terms of our presence in new communities and by enhancing our customer proposition and services.”

The transaction is expected to complete on or around 5 July 2016 for the freehold locations. Completion of the sale of the leasehold locations is conditional upon consent of the relevant local authorities. However completion on both sites is anticipated by early August.

Coop Funerals Prepaid Plans.    Dignity Funeral Plans.