Centrica to acquire North American home services business

Centrica to acquire North American home services business Clockwork Home Services Inc

Centrica plc today announced that its North American subsidiary, Direct Energy, has reached an agreement to acquire the assets of the pan-North American home services business, Clockwork Home Services Inc, for a cash consideration of $183 million (£126 million), including assumed debt.

Clockwork is one of the largest home services businesses in North America and provides on-demand services to around 1 million households annually across 47 US states and two Canadian provinces. It has around 1,000 employees, supplying heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical services through its wholly owned retail operations, and also has franchise operations and an affinity programme for independent contractors.

The acquisition of Clockwork will make Direct Energy a market leader in the North American home energy services market and will strengthen the scale and capability of its operations. It provides an expanded geographical footprint, increasing the proportion of households served by Direct Energy where it can offer both energy services and energy supply from 30% to 55%, and gives a robust platform for future growth through an established franchise model. It will also generate synergies through lower procurement costs and leverage of Clockwork's industry leading customer management systems.

This transaction represents a further step in the delivery of Centrica's strategy for North America to build a larger, more vertically integrated energy business with a strong energy services offering. The combined services business will operate across the United States and Canada, providing air conditioning, heating, plumbing, electrical and energy efficiency-related products and services to homes and businesses.

Sam Laidlaw, Centrica Chief Executive, said: "This transaction is a step change for Direct Energy's services business, creating a market leader with an excellent franchise model. Combined revenues across Clockwork's own businesses and its independent affinity clients, plus DE Services, are almost $4 billion, which facilitates significant procurement advantages and allows us to achieve real scale in energy services in a cost effective way. Direct Energy will draw on the experience of British Gas' residential services business to expand the scale and range of services it can offer, allowing us to further deepen the relationships with our energy and services customers."

The acquisition is subject to certain customary conditions including approvals by Clockwork's shareholders and regulators in the United States. It is expected to be completed in July 2010.



Clockwork is a privately owned business, founded in 1998 and based in Sarasota, Florida, and operates under brands including One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing and Mister Sparky electrical services.