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Carlyle, Vista buy Providence Strategic Growth’s Tribute Technology  

Tribute, based in Middleton, Wisconsin, is a software platform that provides fully integrated funeral arrangements for its clients, including families, funeral homes and online publishers.

Carlyle Group and Vista Equity have agreed to acquire Tribute Technology from Providence Strategic Growth (PSG), sources familiar with the matter told PE Hub.

As part of the acquisition, Carlyle Group will become the majority stakeholder in the technology- and software-enabled funeral arrangement service, the people said. Vista will hold a minority position.

The deal, which is pending completion, values the company north of $1 billion, they said.

Barron’s first reported in September that Providence was seeking a sale of Tribute Technology.

Tribute, based in Middleton, Wisconsin, is a software platform that provides fully integrated funeral arrangements for its clients, including families, funeral homes and online publishers. Providence Growth describes the company on its website as a software-as-a-service and payments platform for funeral homes in the US and Canada.

Tribute boasts that its personalization and technology solutions are used by more than 70 percent of the funeral home businesses in the US.

Tribute’s platform is e-commerce driven, sources explained. For instance, clients who buy flowers may score a discount if they reach a certain price point on their order. Through another offering that is outsourced to third-party providers, users plant a tree in memory of a deceased person, one source added.

Because of its end-market and remote online features, Tribute has emerged as a beneficiary of the pandemic, the people said.

The company generates between $50 million and $60 million in EBITDA, they said.

Under its new PE backers, Tribute is expected to leverage its e-commerce functions to focus on growth through customer acquisition and customer engagement, one of the sources said. Vista is anticipated to expand on those features by bringing on a new board member with relevant e-commerce experience, the person said.

It’s unclear when Providence Strategic Growth invested in the company, but the firm grew Tribute’s platform through several add-on acquisitions in recent years.

In February, Tribute acquired AdPerfect, an obituary platform used by media companies across North America. The combination of two platforms allowed Tribute to deliver online and self-serve obituaries at no cost to local publishers, the company said in the announcement.

Tribute’s other add-on acquisitions include SRS Computing, Frazer Consulting and FrontRunner Professional.

Carlyle Group and Providence Strategic Growth declined to comment. William Blair and Vista Equity did not return PE Hub’s requests for comment. Tribute Technology could not be reached for a comment.

Action Item: See Carlyle’s recent form ADV here.

Correction: This story has been updated to clarify that SRS Computing, Frazer Consulting and FrontRunner Professional are part of Tribute Technology. A previous version incorrectly identified the businesses as separate Providence Equity portfolio companies.