Service Corp. International, a nationwide funeral home and cemetery company that has some Akron- and Canton-area operations, has agreed to buy Stewart Enterprises Inc. in a deal valued at $1.4 billion. The announcement was made Wednesday.

Service Corp., based in Houston, Texas, owns what is called the Dignity network of funeral homes, including Rose Hill Burial Park in Fairlawn and Catavolos funeral home in Bath Township.

Stewart Enterprises, based in Louisiana, runs funeral homes in 24 states and employs 5,000 people, according to its website. It has no local funeral homes.

The combination of Service Corp. and Stewart Enterprises is expected to have revenue of almost $3 billion and generate about $60 million in annual cost savings, the companies said.

Locally, Service Corp.ís Dignity network of funeral homes and cemeteries also includes the Wood-Kortright-Borkoski Funeral Home in Ravenna; Sunset Hills Memory Gardens and Karlo-Libby Funeral Home in Jackson Township; and Forest Hill Cemetery in Canton.

Service Corp.ís purchase offer of $13.25 a share is 36 percent more than Stewart Enterprisesí closing price Tuesday. The acquisition has been approved by the boards of both companies, according to a statement Wednesday.

Stewart Enterprises rose 33 percent to $12.97 at the close in New York. The shares had advanced 27 percent this year before Wednesday.

Service Corp. gained 4.7 percent to $18.44.

Service Corp. owned and operated 1,437 funeral homes and 374 cemeteries in 43 states, including Ohio, as of March 31.

Beacon Journal business writer Katie Byard contributed to this report.