How a Casket Maker Grew Through Acquisitions

Declining death rates would ordinarily be good news — but it wasn’t for casket makers Hillenbrand, a century-old company known for its reliability and premium quality.

To deal with this decline, which hit their revenues hard, Hillenbrand leaders had to make a choice between focusing on acquisitions, divestitures or financial restructuring.

Through awareness of their core competencies and structural resources, executives looked to acquire other companies that enhanced their business.

Find out how they successfully transformed Hillenbrand into a globally diversified industrial enterprise in the article “Casket Business Triumphs, Diversifies Through Acquisitions” in the Darden School of Business/Washington Post “Case in Point” series.


“Casket Business Triumphs, Diversifies Through Acquisitions” was co-authored by Senior Researcher Gerry Yemen.

About the Faculty

Gregory B. Fairchild

Fairchild is an expert in business strategy, business ethics, leadership and entrepreneurship. He specializes in underserved, overlooked markets and has taught financial literacy to victims of domestic violence, and has launched a program to teach entrepreneurship and business skills to inmates re-entering society.

Fairchild was named one of the 10 Best Business School Professors in the... Learn More