Sale of local funeral home, cemetery business finalized

June 23, 2010

The sale of Memory Gardens Management Co. to Pennsylvania-based StoneMor Partners became final on Tuesday.

Johnson Circuit Judge Mark Loyd signed off on the closing documents after approving the acquisition of the Indianapolis-based cemetery and funeral home business in April. The purchase price of Memory Gardens could total $32 million after StoneMor meets trust-fund and debt obligations related to the sale.

Memory Gardens fell into court-appointed receivership after its owner, Robert E. Nelms, 41, pleaded guilty to theft and securities fraud last July.

As part of the purchase, a settlement agreement between the state of Indiana and StoneMor restores nearly $20 million in cemetery trust funds associated with Memory Gardens. StoneMor is expected to pay $14 million in trust-fund payments, and the court-appointed receiver recovered $5 million.

Publicly traded StoneMor operates 235 cemeteries and 59 funeral homes in 25 states and Puerto Rico. Its properties include Forest Lawn Memory Gardens & Funeral Home in Greenwood and Lincoln Memory Gardens in Boone County.



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