Hillenbrand reaches deal to sell Batesville Casket for $761M

BATESVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Hillenbrand Inc. said Thursday that it has reached an agreement to sell its Batesville Casket Co. subsidiary — the largest producer of caskets in the U.S. — to an affiliate of a Connecticut-based private equity firm for $761.5 million.

The announcement of the deal with an affiliate of LongRange Capital provided no guidance on what impact the sale might have on Batesville Casket, its employees or its holdings in southeastern Indiana, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported.

But Hillenbrand said that both it and Batesville Casket would continue to be headquartered in Batesville, an Indiana community about 60 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Indianapolis.

Hillenbrand’s move would result in it selling off the casket-making business and brand that served as the roots for the larger Hillenbrand company in Batesville starting in 1884.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, provided it clears all regulatory hurdles. Net proceeds from the sale are expected to be used for debt reduction, Hillenbrand said in a news release.

Stamford, Connecticut-based LongRange Capital was founded in 2019 by Bob Berlin and invests in a range of consumer, industrial, and information and technology companies.

Hillenbrand said it agreed to sell Batesville Casket to a LongRange Capital affiliate so it can focus on its strategic move toward long-term growth in attractive markets such as plastics, food and recycling.

The company said the casket company’s sale, coupled with its acquisitions of LINXIS Group, Herbold Meckesheim, Peerless Food Equipment and Gabler Engineering, will mark a significant milestone for Hillenbrand, establishing it as a global industrial leader in highly engineered processing solutions and plastics molding.

Hillenbrand is the 18th-largest public company in Indiana based on its 2021 revenue of $2.9 billion, according to research by the Indianapolis Business Journal. It has 10,500 employees globally and in 2021, it reported that 6,500 of its employees were located in Indiana.

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