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Aurora Casket Co. sold
Written by Staff   
Monday, July 02, 2012 7:21 PM

Family-owned Aurora Casket Company, the largest independent supplier in the funeral service, is changing hands for the first time since it was founded in 1890.

The company has been acquired by affiliates of Kohlberg & Company, L.L.C., a leading private equity firm based in Mount Kisco, New York.

Aurora Casket is a leading supplier of caskets, urns, stationery, memorial products and technology solutions to funeral homes across North America. The company operates five manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada, including its headquarters in Aurora.

Founded in 1890, Aurora was privately owned through five generations by the Backman and Barrott families.

“The Barrott and Backman families looked at this transaction as an opportunity to continue the legacy and leadership of Aurora Casket. We are excited to partner with Kohlberg, a firm that shares our commitment to funeral service and to our purpose of helping to create an honorable closure to every life,” said Bill Backman III, of Aurora

Backed by the strength of Kohlberg’s private equity funds, this merger is expected to accelerate Aurora Casket’s growth both organically and through acquisition.

Christopher W. Anderson, partner of Kohlberg, said “We are excited to partner with an organization with the rich history and solid foundation of Aurora. The company’s success across five generations is a testament to the Backman and Barrott families. We believe that Aurora is poised for continued growth as the leading partner to funeral professionals.”

There are about 400 employees in Aurora, out of about 900 companywide.

According to previous stories in Register Publications, last spring the company and its largest union the Local Lodge M300 of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, representing 315 workers, took several months to come to an agreement on a new five-year contract with major sticking points on vacation rights; health care costs and prescription drug coverage.

Meanwhile, in January of this year Aurora Casket announced the aquisition of Capital City Casket Co. in South Carolina and Edgecombe Casket Co. in North Carolina.



Original story:

Aurora Casket Company, the largest independent supplier in funeral service, has been acquired by affiliates of Kohlberg & Company, L.L.C., a leading private equity firm based in Mount Kisco, New York.

Aurora Casket is a leading supplier of caskets, urns, stationery, memorial products and technology solutions to funeral homes across North America. The company operates five manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1890, Aurora was privately owned through five generations by the Backman and Barrott families.

“The Barrott and Backman families looked at this transaction as an opportunity to continue the legacy and leadership of Aurora Casket,” said Bill Backman III, of Aurora. “We are excited to partner with Kohlberg, a firm that shares our commitment to funeral service and to our purpose of helping to create an honorable closure to every life.”

Backed by the strength of Kohlberg’s private equity funds, this merger is expected to accelerate Aurora Casket’s growth both organically and through acquisition. Christopher W. Anderson, Partner of Kohlberg, commented “We are excited to partner with an organization with the rich history and solid foundation of Aurora. The company’s success across five generations is a testament to the Backman and Barrott families. We believe that Aurora is poised for continued growth as the leading partner to funeral professionals.”

For more on this story and the affect the sale has on the more than 300 employees in Aurora check this website or the print edition of The Dearborn County Register Thursday, July 5.

Last Updated on Tuesday, July 03, 2012 8:01 PM