August Equity offloads funeral business to Montagu

The sale comes as the firm continues to raise its fourth fund, targeting £200m.

UK-based lower mid-market firm August Equity has sold Funeral Services Partnership to fellow UK-based firm Montagu Private Equity, according to a statement from the firm.
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

August originally acquired the funeral services provider in September 2009 as part of a buy-and-build strategy. More than 100 branches joined since the initial investment, including 47 acquired last year from LM Funerals.

Under August’s ownership FSP grew from 24 branched to 131, and profitability has increased six-fold.

The sale comes as August continues to raise capital for its fourth fund. August Equity Partners IV is looking to collect a similar amount as its predecessor, which closed on its £200 million ($285 million; €263 million) hard-cap in early January 2014, as reported by Private Equity International.

August declined to comment on fundraising.

Fund III came to market in late 2012 with a target of £180 million and held a first close in July 2013 on £100 million. Investors in August Equity Partners III include Partners Group, JP Morgan Asset Management, Merseyside Pension Fund, Akina, and Coller Capital, according to PEI Research & Analytics.

August targets management buyouts and growth investments primarily in the healthcare, technology and support services sectors, according to PEI Research & Analytics. Fund IV will continue with this strategy.

August has also made a string of recent hires. In January the firm appointed former Bridgepoint Development Capital partner Tim Thomas as a director in its investment team. This followed the appointment of Doughty Hanson alumna Katie Beck as a director and Kate Cook, previously at Deloitte, as a manager last September.