Grave undertaking: group that buried Elvis wants to take over UK firm
Sunday 12 June 1994
Our picture shows pallbearers carrying Presley's coffin into the Forest Hills Cemeteries mausoleum in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1977, in one of Service Corporation International's most celebrated funerals.
The US operator of funeral homes and cemeteries launched an pounds 87m bid last week in an attempt to split the interests of JD Field, a family company, and win control of the UK funeral firm Great Southern Group.
'I'm here to do a deal and I'm here for the duration,' said Bill Heiligbrodt, SCI's Texan president and chief operating officer. Mr Heiligbrodt said he had asked to meet the trustees of the Field family's interests. The shares in JD Field are split into a number of family trusts and the company has a 56 per cent shareholding in Great Southern.
Mr Heiligbrodt said he wants to bring US methods in the funeral industry over to the UK. Profit margins in the US are around 24 per cent compared with margins in the UK of 19 per cent, he said.
SCI, which handled the funeral of Jackie Onassis, takes pride in having buried US presidents, but it did not bury Richard Nixon whose wife had a link with another funeral company.
Mr Heiligbrodt, a former bank chairman, has been called a cowboy - but he loves the term. 'I gather it's not such a compliment in Britain, but I am a cowboy. I'm a football player, and I fish, and I just love being competitive,' he said. He became involved in SCI in 1967 when his Texas Commerce Bank lent it money for expansion. 'It's a very necessary business. Funeral services help the healing business and they're as much for the living as for the dead,' he said.
- 1 Rape threats, death threats and a police investigation after video poking fun at an Islamic Party in Malaysia goes viral
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 4 6-year-old writes ice cold Valentine's card to his stepmother
- 5 Syrian child photographed 'surrendering to camera because she thought it was a gun'
Rape threats, death threats and a police investigation after video poking fun at an Islamic Party in Malaysia goes viral
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
6-year-old writes ice cold Valentine's card to his stepmother
Jeremy Clarkson to become 'special adviser on transport' to David Cameron
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 per annum + commission: SThree: Sthree have an exciting opportunity for...
£18000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...