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Aurora Casket Company Acquired By Matthews Memorialization

Posted On June 09, 2015

By Mike Perleberg

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(Aurora, Ind.) – Aurora Casket Company is being acquired by a fellow funeral-industry business.

The company, which has been operating in Aurora since 1890, announced Tuesday that it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Matthews International Corporation. Aurora and Matthews Funeral Home Products will combine to form Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions.

The new company “will be a cornerstone business of the memorialization segment of Matthews,” according to a news release. The joining of the two funeral industry players will offer customers a compelling opportunity by bringing together their best products, marketing programs, and services.

“We see tremendous potential in combining Aurora with Matthews International Corporation, forming the most progressive industry supplier committed to helping funeral homes grow and succeed,” said Michael R. Quinn, President and CEO of Aurora. “Our company missions are similar, our geographic footprints are complementary, and we know that the new Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions will continue Aurora’s tradition of helping to celebrate every life and creating healing moments for families.”

“Matthews and Aurora share a legacy of deep commitment to serving the funeral industry, and the new Matthews Aurora will be committed to maintaining the exceptional product quality, sales support, customer service and delivery for which both companies are known. We greatly respect the Aurora organization and its heritage, and look forward to uniting our two companies.  Matthews and Aurora were both strong independently but together we possess tremendous capabilities to better serve our customers,” said Steven D. Gackenbach, Group President for Matthews Memorialization.

The deal is expected to close by September 30, subject to regulatory approval. The announcement did not include any indications on future employment at Aurora’s headquarters in Dearborn County.

In 2012, Aurora Casket Company was acquired by New York-based private equity firm Kohlberg & Company, LLC. The move marked the end of Aurora’s status as a family-owned company. It had been owned by five generations of the Backman and Barrott families.

2015 marks Aurora Casket Company’s 125th anniversary.