StoneMor makes initial $53M payment to lease archdiocesan cemeteries

The plan calls for Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Cheltenham and 12 additional burial grounds to be leased to the Levittown-based StoneMor Partners L.P.

StoneMor Partners L.P. has made its initial payment of $53 million to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as part of a 60-year lease of 13 archdiocesan cemeteries, the Levittown company announced.

The remaining annual lease payments are front-loaded, with $1 million in years six through 20, $1.2 million in years 21 to 25, and $1.5 million in years 26 to 35. No payments would be required in the final 25 years.

The archdiocese previously has said it will use $30 million of the initial payment to offset an $80 million shortfall in its trust and loan fund, which holds deposits from parishes and makes loans to them.

The remainder of the initial payment will be split between the pension fund for archdiocesan priests, which had a $92 million deficit last June, and the archdiocese's self-insurance fund, which had a $30.4 million shortfall.

Separately, StoneMor said Thursday that it priced 2.6 million common units at $23.67 each and that it expected to receive net proceeds of $58.2 million from the sale, more if underwriters exercise their right to buy more units.

StoneMor will use the money to buy nine funeral homes, 12 cemeteries, and two crematories from Service Corp. International for $53.8 million. The remainder will be used to pay debt, StoneMor said.