FTC Approves Final Order Regarding SCI's Acquisition of Keystone North America; Seeks Public Comments on Application to Sell 23 Funeral Homes and Cemeteries

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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final settlement order in the matter concerning Service Corporation International and Keystone North America, Inc. The final order settles charges that SCI’s acquisition of Keystone would have reduced competition in 16 funeral service and three cemetery markets in the United States, and requires that SCI divest properties in each market.

Pursuant to the settlement order, SCI is seeking FTC approval to sell a total of 23 funeral homes, cemeteries, and combination properties to resolve the FTC’s competition concerns raised by its acquisition of Keystone. The FTC is seeking public comment on SCI’s application

Under SCI’s request, the company would sell the 23 properties to Foundation Partners Group, LLC. The facilities are located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington State. A complete list of the properties can be found in SCI’s petition, which is on the FTC’s Web site and linked to this press release. Foundation is a new company formed by the private equity firm Sterling Partners and former founders and executives of Keystone.

The FTC vote approving the final order was 3-0-2, with Commissioners Edith Ramirez and Julie Brill not participating. The FTC is accepting comments on the proposed divestitures for 30 days, until June 4, 2010. Comments can be sent to: FTC, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580 or submitted electronically at: https://public.commentworks.com/ftc/sci-foundationpartners. (FTC File No. 091-0138, Docket No. C-4284; the staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2526. See press release dated March 26, 2010, at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/03/keystone.shtm.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

(FYI 19.2010.wpd)

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