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Europe's aging population a “magnet” for some investors

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Governments are seriously concerned. Elon Musk has sounded the alarm about the trend. But for some, it turns into big business.

Ο γηρασκων πληθ υστησ«μανησ» καποιους επενδυτες /></p>
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<p>Europe's shrinking population has long raised concerns about its economic prospects. Governments are seriously concerned about this. Elon Musk has sounded the alarm about the trend. But for some, it turns into big business.</p>
<p>Private equity-backed Funecap Idf SAS has spent around €1bn to buy more than 300 crematoria and funeral homes mainly in Europe, home to 17 of the top 20 countries with the highest death rates.</p>
<p >The French company, backed by British financial investor Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP and France's Latour Capital, is benefiting from high cemetery costs, commuting needs and religious secularization that has increased the need for cremation and alternatives to its traditional services. church.</p>
<p>One in five Europeans is currently 65 or older. By 2050, the ratio will be closer to 30%. And unlike North America – which faces a similar threat of population decline – Europe has limited space to bury them when they finally die.</p>
<p>“The funeral industry is much more than digging graves,” said Thierry Gisserot, founder and CEO of Funecap. “It's a question of infrastructure.”</p>
<p>The European incinerator market benefits from high organic growth of 5% and 7% per year on average, he explains. Cremation is becoming increasingly popular, particularly in countries with Catholic roots where rules have been relaxed in recent decades.</p>
<p>Funecap acquired in 2022 the Dutch Facultatieve Technologies, the world leader in cremation equipment, and recently became a partner in Rhein-Taunus-Krematorium, the largest in Germany.</p>
<p>This market is more fragmented in Europe than than in other developed countries, especially in Germany, according to Björn Wolff, founder of Mymoria. His company, which provides funeral services, has been buying other companies in the space in recent years, and plans to continue doing so.</p>
<p>Meanwhile, the cash flows in the sector are predictable – people die. Deaths are expected to increase faster in the coming years as the baby boomer generation ages, which will likely increase revenue for companies such as Funecap and Mymoria.</p>
<p>Another source of revenue that is considered more controversial is the sale of metal scraps left after human bodies are cremated.</p>
<p>Many people have gold teeth, artificial hips or knee joints, containing titanium, cobalt or chromium. In most European countries, the metals are removed from the ashes and sold to metal recycling companies. This is not illegal as long as relatives are informed.</p>
<p>Many crematoria say they donate all or part of the proceeds. According to Jan-Willem Gabriels, head of metal recycling company OrthoMetals A/S, the donation process varies significantly between European countries: Germany has no national regulations on the matter, while Sweden requires crematoria to send proceeds to its state heritage fund.</p>
<p>Sources: moneyreview.gr, Bloomberg</p>
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<div class=Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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