Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has acquired a 33 percent stake in OGF, a funeral services provider in France, from Pamplona Capital Management. The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, increased Ontario Teachers’ interest to 74 percent. Pamplona acquired OGF in 2013, and in 2015 sold a 41 percent stake to Ontario Teachers’. Based in Paris, OGF has a network of 1,100 branches, 550 funeral homes, 72 crematoria and a brands portfolio. Ontario Teachers’ and Pamplona said they supported “multiple” acquisitions by the company in recent years, which helped grow the portfolio and improve operations.
Ontario Teachers’ Buys Additional Stake in France’s Leading Funeral Services Provider OGF from Pamplona, Becoming Majority Shareholder
April 12, 2017
London / Paris / Toronto – Pamplona Capital Management (“Pamplona”) and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (“Ontario Teachers'”) today announced that Ontario Teachers’, the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada, has become the majority shareholder of OGF, the leading funeral services provider in France. Ontario Teachers’ acquired the 33% stake in OGF from Pamplona, bringing its total shareholding to 74%. Pamplona and the OGF management team retain a 20% and 6% shareholding respectively. Pamplona acquired OGF in October 2013, and in the second half of 2015 it sold a 41% stake in OGF to Ontario Teachers’.
The transaction has received all necessary approvals and is effective as of April 12, 2017. 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. It has a long experience in minority and control transactions, investing flexible capital from its own balance sheet alongside a supportive governance framework to oversee future growth plans.
OGF, founded more than 170 years ago, has an unparalleled nationwide network of 1,100 branches, 550 funeral homes and 72 crematoria and a portfolio of highly recognised brands. With the support of Pamplona and Ontario Teachers’, the business has completed multiple acquisitions in recent years, growing the portfolio and improving operations. 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%. OGF maintained its market leading position, delivering a record turnover of €625 million in the year ended 31 March 2017.
Markus Noé-Nordberg, Partner at Pamplona, commented: “We are proud to have participated in OGF’s development since 2013. Under our ownership OGF has invested over €300m in both internal development and acquisitions. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Ontario Teachers’ and the OGF management team, and supporting the future growth of the business.”
Jean-Charles Douin, Director of Ontario Teachers’ EMEA, commented: “OGF’s stable long-term growth profile and proven track-record fits Ontario Teachers’ investment mandate perfectly. Since 2015, we have supported the business’s organic and acquisitive growth, while it has continued to improve financial and operational performance. We look forward to supporting OGF’s development, as it continues to deliver the highest service standards, reinforce its market position and deliver positive results.”
Philippe Lerouge, President and CEO of OGF for 16 years, stated: “I would like to thank Pamplona for having endorsed our strategy over the past years and I am very pleased by Ontario Teachers’ confidence in OGF business model and our ability to pursue our growth strategy in the future. We will continue to deliver a premium quality service for our clients, and focus on the core values of our business.”
Founded more than 170 years ago OGF is the leading provider of funeral services in France and the only fully integrated operator supplying the full spectrum of funeral products including burial and cremation services, monuments and cemetery works, pre-need insurance contracts and coffin manufacturing. OGF is present across France through an unmatched nationwide footprint of 1,100 branches, 550 funeral homes, 72 crematoria and a portfolio of highly recognised brands, which include PFG, Roblot, Henri de Borniol and numerous local brands, most of them under the Dignité Funéraire umbrella..
About Ontario Teachers’
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (“Ontario Teachers'”) is Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan, with $175.6 billion in net assets as of December 31, 2016. It holds a diverse global portfolio of assets, approximately 80% of which is managed in-house, and has earned an average annualized rate of return of 10.1% since the plan’s founding in 1990. Ontario Teachers’ is an independent organization headquartered in Toronto. Its Asia-Pacific region office is located in Hong Kong and its Europe, Middle East & Africa region office is in London. The defined-benefit plan, which is fully funded, invests and administers the pensions of the province of Ontario’s 318,000 active and retired teachers. For more information, visit www.otpp.com and follow us on Twitter @OtppInfo.
Pamplona Capital Management is a London, New York, and Boston-based specialist investment manager established in 2005 that provides an alternative investment platform across private equity, fund of hedge funds, and single-manager hedge fund investments. Pamplona Capital Management, LLP manages over $10 billion in assets across a number of funds for a variety of clients including public pension funds, international wealth managers, multinational corporations, family offices, and funds of hedge funds. Pamplona invests long-term capital across the capital structure of its portfolio companies in both public and private market situations. Please see www.pamplonafunds.com for further information.
Photo courtesy of Reuters/Regis Duvignau