Ontario Teachers', the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada, is to acquire a significant minority interest in OGF, a funeral services provider in France, from Pamplona Capital Management.
Pamplona, which remains the majority shareholder, has sold 30 per cent of OGF to Ontario Teachers’, which intends to increase its stake to over 40 per cent over time. The initial transaction is expected to close on 25 September 2015. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
Ontario Teachers’ is a long-term investor that aims to identify unique opportunities and partner with strong management teams. Ontario Teachers’ and Pamplona have a strong working relationship, having partnered and invested in CSC ServiceWorks in 2014.
OGF, founded 170 years ago, presents an attractive investment opportunity with an unparalleled nationwide network of 1,000 branches, 468 funeral homes and 53 crematoria and a portfolio of highly recognised brands. The management team, led by President and CEO Philippe Lerouge, has consistently delivered strong growth and financial performance. The team’s strategy of providing a best in class service, via a uniquely integrated offering across the entire funeral service value chain, has resulted in a 10-year average customer recommendation rate of 97 per cent.
Markus Noé-Nordberg (pictured), Partner at Pamplona, says: "We are delighted to be partnering with Ontario Teachers’, one of the world's leading investment groups, and we look forward to further developing OGF as the leading funeral services provider in France."
Jo Taylor, Managing Director of Ontario Teachers’ EMEA, says: “OGF is a leading funeral services provider, with long-term growth potential, that fits Ontario Teachers’ investment mandate perfectly. This investment gives us the opportunity to deploy capital alongside partner that we know well, and be a long term backer to a world class management team. We look forward to support OGF as it continues to deliver the highest service standards and develop its footprint over time.”
Philippe Lerouge, President and CEO of OGF for 15 years, says: "I am particularly pleased that the Group has attracted a long-term investor like Ontario Teachers’. The profile of this new partner and their decision to invest, demonstrates a clear confidence in the future of OGF and our strategy."