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Prairie Capital Bolsters Funeral Products Platform through Messenger’s Acquisition of Deaton-Kennedy Company

Chicago, IL - January 2014    Prairie Capital V helped to facilitate Messenger’s acquisition of Deaton-Kennedy Company from the Deaton family, thereby furthering Messenger’s market leadership position. For 100 years, Messenger has served the death care industry as a manufacturer and distributor of specialty stationery and related products. Messenger provides its products to approximately 8,000 funeral homes located across the United States and Canada.

For over 85 years, Deaton-Kennedy has manufactured and distributed specialty stationery and related products. Based in Joliet, IL, Deaton-Kennedy sells its products to more than 3,600 funeral homes located throughout the U.S.

This highly strategic acquisition provides Messenger with an expanded product portfolio, a more robust and far-reaching sales rep network, and access to thousands of loyal funeral homes not previously served by Messenger. Additionally, the acquisition allows for the sharing of resources and best practices between the two companies to make for a more powerful and focused platform to better meet the needs of funeral directors and the families they serve.

For more information on Messenger, please contact:
Darren M. Snyder, Partner (312) 701-0091 or
Nathan J. Good, Partner (312) 701-0058


Prairie Capital, founded in 1997, is a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on facilitating ownership transitions for lower middle market companies. Prairie targets companies with annual recurring revenue and cash flow of at least $20 million and $4 million, respectively. Prairie is typically the first institutional investor in these entrepreneurial companies, with an aim toward growing and professionalizing the businesses. Prairie’s strengths include: exceptional responsiveness, a partner-oriented, entrepreneurial approach and great flexibility in structuring investments.

Since its inception, Prairie has worked with talented entrepreneurs and experienced management teams across more than 80 platform investments, investing in the aggregate approximately $700 million. Prairie is currently investing from its fifth fund, the $300 million, Prairie Capital V, L.P.


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