Aussie firm cashes in on Canty cremations

MARTIN VAN BEYNEN
Last updated 05:00 30/07/2014
grave
DEALING IN DEATH: An Australian firm is taking over Christchurch crematoriums.

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An Australian firm is set to take more of Christchurch's funeral business.

The Commerce Commission has cleared the way for Bledisloe New Zealand Ltd to buy the Harewood Memorial Gardens and Crematorium and Woodlawn Memorial Gardens and Crematorium in Linwood.

The purchase sets up Bledisloe, a subsidiary of Australian company InvoCare, to compete with local crematorium operators in Christchurch including Lamb and Hayward and Canterbury Christian.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

Bledisloe already owns 22 funeral and embalming businesses in New Zealand, including Christchurch operations John Rhind Funeral Directors, Academy Funeral Services and Simplicity Funerals.

It also owns Fraser Lawrence Memorials, a Christchurch memorial stone provider.

The commission found the Bledisloe move would not lessen competition in the Canterbury funeral market as there was a number of existing funeral directors and cremation services..

InvoCare bought Bledisloe in 2010 for about A$114 million (NZ$125m). The group has been expanding its New Zealand holdings, acquiring four funeral parlours last year.

The Christchurch crematoriums were owned by the Cremation Society of Canterbury, of which former Christchurch accountant Glen Stapley is the major shareholder.

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- The Press

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