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Service Corporation International Announces the Closing of the Sale of Its French Insurance Operations
HOUSTON, Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Service Corporation International (NYSE: SRV), the world's largest funeral and cemetery company, announced today it closed the sale of Groupe Auxia, the Company's French insurance operations, to Mederic Assurances of France on September 1. The sale transaction generated after tax cash proceeds of approximately $60 million, which will be used to further reduce the Company's debt.
Commenting on the sale of Auxia, SCI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Robert L. Waltrip, stated:
"We are pleased to report one more positive step in the execution of our strategic plan. All of the after tax cash proceeds from the sales of our non- core assets are being used to reduce our debt, which peaked at approximately $4.2 billion in September 1999. With the execution of the sale of Auxia and the sales of certain loans of our lending subsidiary, coupled with the sale of our North American insurance operations expected to close by October 31, 2000, the Company's debt balance will be substantially below our original year-end targeted range of $3.6 to $3.8 billion and well within our revised year-end targeted range of $3.3 to $3.6 billion."
Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on assumptions that the Company believes are reasonable. These statements are not, however, guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially. The most important factors that may cause actual results to differ from the Company's expectations are the risks associated with the closing of the Company's North American insurance operations sale transaction including receipt of the appropriate regulatory approval. Other important factors that may cause actual results to differ from the Company's expectations are listed in the Company's second quarter 2000 Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Service Corporation International is the largest provider of death care services in the world. As of June 30, 2000, SCI affiliates operated 3,809 funeral service locations, 581 cemeteries and 201 crematoria in 20 countries on five continents.
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