Dignity plc was formed in 1994. As the only publicly listed company in the UK operating in the funeral sector, Dignity has evolved through a mix of acquisition and key milestones in our financial history and backing.


The Group was created in 1994 through the acquisition by Service Corporation International of Plantsbrook Group plc and Great Southern Group plc.


On 11 February 2002 the Group was the subject of a £235 million management buyout, headed by Peter Hindley (CEO) and Mike McCollum (CFO), and backed by Montagu Private Equity Limited.

In December 2002 the original funding of the management buyout was refinanced by JP Morgan Chase Bank in anticipation of a whole business Securitization.


The securitisation was completed in April 2003. £210 million of fixed interest notes were issued along with £110 million of Class A notes with an interest rate of 6.310% and £100 million of Class B notes with an interest rate of 8.151%. The notes were rated A and BBB respectively by the rating agencies – Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.


In April 2004 Dignity plc was admitted to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange. This listing raised £113 million net of expenses, which was used to repay expensive debt, leaving the securitized notes as the only long-term debt held by the company. At the time of admission and in the subsequent couple of months Montagu disposed of its entire shareholding in Dignity plc.


In February 2006 the Group issued a further £45.55 million Class A notes and £32.50 million Class B notes. The notes were issued at a premium and raised £86 million after fees and expenses. The Group then returned £80 million (£1 per share) to shareholders on 11 August 2006 through the creation, issue and redemption of Class B shares. The listed ordinary shares were also consolidated on a seven-for-nine basis. The new consolidated shares were listed on 2 August 2006.


In October 2010 the Group issued further Class A and B Secured Notes with a nominal value outstanding of £38.9 million and £33.1 million respectively. These Notes were issued at a premium and raised a total of £81.8 million after fees and expenses. The Group then returned 63.9 million using the majority of the proceeds of the issue of further Secured Notes. Shareholders were given the choice to receive either capital or income return, but in each case received £1 per Ordinary Share. The listed ordinary shares were also consolidated on a six-for-seven basis. The new consolidated shares were listed on 11 October 2010.


Dignity acquired 40 funeral businesses and two crematoria in the north of England from Yew Holdings Limited for a total cash consideration of £58.3 million on a debt-free-cash-free basis. The Board announced a fully underwritten placing of 2,283,019 new ordinary shares in Dignity to raise approximately £24.2 million net of expenses.


Dignity acquired 36 funeral premises from Laurel Funerals.


Launch of Simplicity Cremations to provide lower cost direct cremation services and acquisition of Funeral Services Ltd.


Acquisition of 24 funeral locations and one crematorium.


A new pricing strategy introduced to protect market share.


Clive Whiley appointed Non-Executive Chairman.


Mike McCollum, Steve Whittern and Richard Portman stand down from the Board. Clive Whiley becomes Executive Chairman. Andrew Judd appointed to the Board as Executive Director of Funeral Operation. Transformation Plan paused indefinitely with the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic. Root and branch review initiated by Clive Whiley identified significant benefits and cash savings from better housekeeping.


A general meeting requisitioned by Dignity’s major shareholder, Phoenix. Following the results of the general meeting, Clive Whiley stood down from the Board. Gary Channon, Partner at Phoenix, appointed Executive Chairman.

In July 2021, John Castagno was appointed independent Non-Executive Chairman. Gary Channon becomes Chief Executive.

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