Saturday, July 3, 2004

Tristate business summary

Hillenbrand sells Forethought unit

Hillenbrand Industries Inc. has completed the previously announced sale of its Forethought Financial Services unit for $280 million to a private investment group of insurance executives. Batesville, Ind.-based Forethought, a leading supplier of funeral insurance, was acquired by FFS Holdings Inc., a unit of the private Devlin Group in a deal announced in February. Stephen Lang, president of Forethought, which employs about 200 in Batesville, said the company expects to expand under the new ownership. Hillenbrand said it also sold four real estate partnerships it had planned to retain for an additional $50 million in cash. Total cash proceeds to Hillenbrand from the sales were slightly more than $100 million. Shares in Hillenbrand closed at $58.98, down 52 cents.

Markets closed

The nation's financial markets will be closed Monday in observance of Independence Day. Stock, commodity and mutual fund tables will resume in Wednesday's Enquirer.

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