THE Co-operative Group has announced the acquisition of funeral services provider the Fairways Group for an undisclosed sum.
It has also been announced that Fairways' Managing Director David Hendry will head the Group's Co-operative Funeralcare business. Mr Hendry succeeds Richard Gomersall, who has decided to leave Co-operative Funeralcare to broaden his business experience outside the co-operative funeral sector.
Fairways is the UK's fourth largest funeral provider conducting over 6,000 funerals annually from 49 funeral homes in Greater London, East Anglia, Hampshire and Worcestershire. The business employs 225 people.
"This is a good move for both businesses," said Co-op Group Chief Executive Martin Beaumont. "Fairways is a highly successful funeral services provider whose regional strengths complement those of our own.
"While we are sorry to see Richard leave, David Hendry has an excellent track record within the funeral industry and the quality of the combined management team under his direction will be unrivalled in the sector," he added.
Co-operative Funeralcare, the UK's leading funeral director, has over 600 funeral homes carrying out over 80,000 funerals each year and employs more than 2,500 people.