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Aurora Casket Company Acquired by Kohlberg & Company [OFFICIAL]

AURORA, Indiana - July 2, 2012 - Aurora Casket Company, the largest independent supplier in funeral service, announced today that 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. 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."

About Kohlberg & Company

Kohlberg & Company, LLC ("Kohlberg") is a leading U.S. private equity firm headquartered in Mount Kisco, New York.  Since its inception in 1987, Kohlberg has completed 57 platform investments and more than 100 add-on acquisitions, with aggregate transaction value in excess of $8 billion.  Kohlberg has invested over $3 billion over its history and is currently investing its seventh private equity fund, Kohlberg Investors VII. For more information, visit www.kohlberg.com.

About Aurora Casket Company

Aurora Casket is the largest privately-owned funeral service supplier in America. Founded in 1890, the company operates five manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Canada, and provides a full range of burial, cremation, and technology products to funeral home clients. For more information, visit www.auroracasket.com


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  • M.F. College

    Why hasn’t Aurora posted this info on their website? Don’t you find this intriguing? Get ready for the organic growth to come from China! Where do you think Kohlberg’s money comes from? China maybe? What does a private equity firm know about the funeral business? If they knew anything they would understand cremation is here to stay. Cremation is growing by leaps and bounds. Until a funeral director and/or cemetery can justify their prices, inexpensive caskets are a mute point. Buckle up your seat belts, it is going to be a rough ride. I predict many funeral homes locking their doors because they cannot survive in the current climate. Another manufacturing business surrendering to Chinese imports. What will happen when the USA as a country needs to manufacture any product? We will be up the river without a paddle. What a shame!

    • ustacould

      As much as I dislike the sometimes negative attitudes of Batesville and Aurora toward the smaller (independant) operator/owner, I still feel obligated to BUY AMERICAN! I was once tempted with the idea of going the route of an independant casket distributorship but just couldn’t put my arms around the idea. It is a very slippery slope and I think we all can witness what it has done to our economy. Just like going to WalMart, we all feel like we pulled a fast one on somebody when we save a buck or two at the checkout line but this involves more than saving a buck or two with the Chinese imports. It involves hundreds of dollars in a casket sale for a casket clone that most, if not all families can’t tell the difference or give a crap. Yea, the funeral home pockets a few more dollars in the process. But in the long run, it affects more than just the local funeral home’ s extra few dollars saved and pocketed. It goes all the way back to Aurora, Batesville, Genesis and others that run U.S. operations and employ American workers. Time to stop the non-sense and crap-can the import caskets once and for all. However, I’m afraid it’s a little too late!

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