I won’t go into crazy detail, because that’s available on stock sites like AOL Money & Finance, on news sites like KBDC and The Houston Chronicle.

But if you don’t want to read the full story, here’s the recap:  SCI offered to buy Stewart at a price of $9.50 a share.  One site estimated it at $1.3 billion for the whole company.

Stewart’s board of directors said “thanks, but no.”

I saw analysis from one Wall Street-type who claimed that a merger would benefit both companies because they’d save money on duplicated services.

That’s a fancy way of saying “If they merge, they’ll fire some middle managers.”

I think that the majority of funeral directors would see precious little difference.  Independent funeral directors, who make up 90% of the industry, will continue to serve their families the same way.

And it’s been my experience that even funeral homes from different corporations are similar in their operations.  In fact, the SCI and Stewart locations in my neck of the woods spent a few years swapping staff in a weird choreography of incentive packages and firings.

Regardless of whether SCI is successful in their bid, funeral service won’t change immensely.

But those funeral directors I know who currently work for Stewart and swore they’d never work for (or go back to) SCI will certainly feel the pinch if the merger goes through.

On a personal note, for the past several years, my experiences with both SCI and Stewart have left me with the impression that the local Stewart folks seem to know what they’re doing, while my friends at SCI are having a more difficult time.

Whether that feeling comes from amazing management at Stewart, poor management at SCI or something completely unrelated, I can’t tell.

On the plus side, Stewart’s stock got a nice bump from the news, before settling back down.

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