Livingstone Chicago’s Industrial sector team has advised Messenger Holding Corp., a portfolio company of Prairie Capital, on its sale to Orchard Holdings Group.
Located in Auburn, Indiana, Messenger is a leading manufacturer and marketer of memorial stationery, specialty products and innovative technologies to funeral homes across North America.
The business attracted strong interest from family office acquirers, due to its compelling investment attributes. Orchard is ideally positioned to capitalise on the long-term demographic trends that will drive stable growth in the funeral products industry for many decades to come.
Over the last three years, Livingstone has completed nearly ten sell-side transactions involving family offices and independent financial investors.
“Prairie was an exceptional partner to Messenger, providing strategic guidance and capital to pursue add-on acquisitions, infrastructure investments, and other business enhancement initiatives,” said Kevin Keane, President of Messenger. “We are thrilled to now partner with Orchard, a high-integrity firm with a uniquely long-term investment horizon, and to continue expanding upon Messenger’s market leadership position.”
“Livingstone advised early on that a family office was the best long-term partner for Messenger and a sale process should be tailored to enhance the probability of attracting such a buyer,” said Nate Good, Partner at Prairie. “Livingstone’s customised process resulted in an attractive outcome for all stakeholders on a shortened timeframe, with minimal business disruption.”
“Family offices can provide a more flexible investment mandate and a longer investment horizon, enabling this alternative source of acquirers to become increasingly active across the mid-market,” said Ryan Buckley, Director at Livingstone Chicago. “We understood Messenger’s attractiveness as a long-term investment, which led us to craft a tailored sale process to ensure family office buyers would actively engage in the opportunity.”
Livingstone is no stranger to private equity transactions within the funeral products industry, having previously sold Aurora Casket Company to Kohlberg & Co in 2012. “The characteristics of the funeral products industry include long-term stability, insulation from economic cycles, and high barriers to entry,” said Andy Isgrig, Partner at Livingstone Chicago. “Livingstone’s growing network of family office relationships will continue to provide attractive exit alternatives for clients seeking these unique attributes.”