Loewen Group

During the last two decades Loewen Group, a death proper care provider, was growing by acquiring little independent memorial homes and cemeteries in densely inhabited areas but in recent years the organization had as well acquired several large set up funeral restaurants. Over the last five years alone, Loewen had embarked on an aggressive development strategy which usually accounted for consolidated revenues' regarding nearly thirty percent a year typically from $303 billion to $1. 1 billion. This growth through acquisitions was funded generally through debt which was apparent as long term debt elevated $922. almost 8 million via 1994 to 1998; this is a 195. 88% maximize. One benefit for debt loans was that that provided a tax benefit. From 1994 to 1998 Loewen had paid $488. 6 mil in interest. Loewen's taxes rate was 45% as a result; debt financing resulted in a tax financial savings of $219. 87 , 000, 000. Another advantage of debt auto financing was that that did not pay the lender title. Therefore , the lending company had zero say in how a person's business was conducted. In order for one to make use of00 debt financing though one must be in a position to comply with almost all aspects of the debt agreement. Once unable to accomplish that the consequences can be devastating to a business.

Regrettably, aggressive expansion through debts financing did not bode well with the Loewen Group. Together with the 30% average revenue progress one would anticipate to see their particular earnings grow too, yet this was not the case. Loewen misplaced $599 , 000, 000 for 98 compared to getting $43 mil the previous 12 months, an approximate 149% decline in one year. Within 5 many years of the start of their particular " buy frenzy” of larger set up funeral chains they were facing what one out of the economical world would call " financial distress”. Financial distress is described by Investopedia as " A condition in which a company cannot meet or perhaps has problems paying off it is financial obligations to its lenders. The chance of economic distress boosts when a organization has excessive fixed costs, illiquid resources, or profits that are sensitive to monetary downturns. ” Loewen Group unfortunately a new few of the over issues and then some. Set costs for funeral homes were roughly 65%; it was due partly to the fact that a funeral home may only have one to two funerals a week however had to be preserved. Their competitor, SCI, will " cluster” the funeral homes with each other which reduced fixed costs to an average of 54%. 54% continues to be high yet better than 65%. Such a strategy also afforded SCI the ability to sell off assets, reducing redundant price and reducing the total expense of the buy. Funeral residence assets were not in superb demand at this point as the death price had dropped; therefore funeral home possessions were extremely illiquid. Although above monetary distress pre-cursors were in position, internal concerns also played out a large function in creating Loewen's economical distress.

Loewen's aggressive obtain strategy looked only to give attention to the buy with little to no thought to the next step of the process. Loewen's competition, SCI, attained full possession of all purchases whereas Loewen took a number ownership and made payments for the rest to help relieve taxes. These types of acquisitions had been funded mainly with personal debt in which the terms of such debt had been very challenging and not for Loewen. One of this was the purchase of Perfect Succession with Blackstone Group. If Loewen bought away Blackstone by exercising their very own option it will effectively pay out an amount that will give Blackstone a 24% return on its expenditure. Loewens' ROA (using actual assets since avg possessions were not given) in 1996 was only 1. 83%. It was an extremely substantial return to work out. Blackstone also had a put in which they can sell all their stock to Loewen using a calculation based upon EBITDA. This kind of definitely did not favor Loewen due to the majority of acquisitions had been purchased largely through personal debt. Loewen did not market the acquisitions instead decided the...


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