SINGAPORE (Dec 17): Two years ago, Nirvana Asia, the largest integrated death care service provider in Asia, was privatised. The US$1.1 billion acquisition of Nirvana Asia Ltd by CVC Capital Partners, a leading global private-equity firm, was done at a 22.4% premium above the prevailing price. At that time, Nirvana had a third of the market share in Singapore and Malaysia. Its services included the entire death care service value chain, and the company was a pioneer in pre-need death care services in Asia. Some of its financial highlights included a strong cash position with zero gearing (interest-bearing debt), an adjusted five-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) and net profit margin compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 30%, and a reduction of costs and expenses as a percentage of revenue by 10% within five years, indicating Nirvana’s economies of scale. Companies that provide death care services can be profitable even though death is a topic that is generally avoided, especially by the superstitious.

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