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CALIFORNIA | FUNERAL SERVICES | THE STATE

Stewart Enterprises Buys Sentinel Cremation

March 26, 1997|(Bloomberg News)

Stewart Enterprises Inc. said it acquired Sentinel Cremation Societies Inc., giving it a presence in the California cremation business. The price paid for closely held Sentinel wasn't disclosed. Sentinel owns 13 funeral centers--including 10 Neptune Society Centers--four crematories, two funeral chapels and a cemetery. It operates in San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, Stockton, San Marcos and Orange County. New Orleans-based Stewart, the nation's third-largest funeral services company, said the acquisition will boost its market share in California, where 42% of funerals involve cremation. Last year, the funeral home operator bought a chain of 77 funeral homes in Canada, also for an undisclosed price. Stewart Enterprises shares rose 56 cents to close at $37.06 cents on Nasdaq.

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