Did Batesville Buy K-Tron To Gain An Immediate Presence in China?

January 22, 2010
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image What are the reasons behind Batesville’s purchase of a non-funeral industry company? Many people have called me and asked what I thought, and I really haven’t been able to figure anything out.

I had a few conversations with people in the industry this week and know one can really figure out a good motive.

What is K-Tron?:

K-Tron Process Group is the global leader in high-quality feeders, pneumatic conveyors/components, and related process equipment, systems, and services. K-Tron holds more than 100 patents for feeding, weighing, mechanical and control technologies and their application to bulk solids handling.

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After digging around on K-Tron’s website, I found something that might have been what gave Batesville interest in K-Tron.

One thing that has hurt Batesville’s business has been the amount of import caskets being sold in the US. Funeral directors are making higher profit margins by selling imported caskets.

The following image shows something interesting that I didn’t read in any of press releases announcing the purchase:

If you notice K-Tron holds one office in China.

This gives Batesville an immediate “in” to China.

Could Batesville be interested in getting casket parts from China and assembling them in the USA?

This could be a far stretch, but I think it is something to consider. There has to be a reason for the purchase and this could be the underlying reason. Batesville has to find a way they can compete in price with the import caskets.

I may be off my rock and there is some very logical reason for the purchase, but I haven’t heard one yet. If you think I am crazy or you agree or you have another opinion, please tell us below.

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