Dignity brings in Buchanan

Dignity, the UK’s largest funeral company, has launched a financial PR offensive ahead of a planned spring flotation.

The company, which operates 507 funeral homes in the UK under local trading names, has drafted in Buchanan to handle financial PR around the float following a four-way pitch.

Brunswick, Financial Dynamics, Smithfield Financial and Holborn also pitched for the one-year contract, which is believed to be worth up to £100,000.

Buchanan CEO Richard Oldworth is leading the account and reports to Dignity CEO Peter Hindley.

Buchanan is handling both financial comms and investor relations for the flotation, which could raise up to £150m. Dignity had a turnover of £129m in 2003.

Financial comms and investor relations are likely to stress the stability of Dignity’s business, which in 2003 conducted 69,012 funerals, representing 11.7 per cent of the total deaths in the UK that year.

The UK death rate has historically been very stable with around 600,000 deaths each year since 1950 and 592,196 deaths last year. The cost of a funeral, meanwhile, has risen at more than twice the compound rate of inflation over the last ten years.

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