Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’) and Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited (USS) today announced the acquisition of Westerleigh Group (Westerleigh), the UK crematoria developer and operator, from Antin Infrastructure Partners (Antin). The transaction is expected to close by year end.
Founded in 1991, Westerleigh Group has grown to become the leading developer and operator of crematoria and cemeteries in the UK, caring for over 30,000 funerals per year across its 22 sites. It has a significant and successful track record of developing new crematoria, with 13 built since 1991. Crematoria form an essential piece of social infrastructure in the UK, with over 75% of deaths cremated each year.
Richard Evans, Managing Director of Westerleigh, said:
"We are grateful for Antin’s backing over the past three years and are delighted to have new long-term, pension fund investors to support the Group through our next phase of growth.”
Andrew Claerhout, Ontario Teachers’ Senior Vice-President Infrastructure and Natural Resources, commented:
“We are very pleased to partner with USS, an institution with which we have tremendous alignment, and with Richard Evans and his outstanding management team to continue to drive Westerleigh's growth. This is a unique business that has established a strong position in the UK market. Their stable revenues and resilient operating model align well with our long-term investment requirements.”
Gavin Merchant, Head of Real Assets at USS Investment Management, said:
"We are delighted to be investing in Westerleigh which plays such a critical societal role in the UK. We look forward to working with Richard, his team and our partners OTPP, to continue to grow Westerleigh as an essential social infrastructure provider and to maintain its reputation for a high quality of care.”