Japanese joint venture for Walsall-based HomeServe
Walsall-based home repairs and improvements business HomeServe is moving into the Japanese market.
The company, which was founded in Walsall and sponsors the town's football team, has signed an agreement with Mitsubishi Corporation to establish a joint venture in Japan.
HomeServe Japan Corporation will be 50:50 owned by HomeServe and MC and will build a business to provide home emergency and repair services in electrics, plumbing, gas, heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
The business will be based on a membership model and will also offer on-demand services to residential customers.
Barry Gibson, chairman of HomeServe, said after the signing ceremony in Tokyo: "HomeServe is delighted to have formed this partnership with Mitsubishi Corporation.
"MC has unparalleled relationships and an excellent reputation in Japan and will supply local market know-how and its high quality management skills to the JV.
"HomeServe brings 25 years of experience in helping customers across the world with home emergencies, repairs and improvements.
"Japan is the world's third largest economy with 53 million residential households.
"Recent liberalisation of the gas and electricity markets, together with access to the water market for private concessions, has created a positive environment for HomeServe's utility branded home assistance model.
"Our priorities are to put in place our start-up staff, work with MC to identify and sign our first affinity partnerships, and begin market testing."
HomeServe and MC will each make an initial cash investment of £2 million into the joint venture.
HomeServe was founded 25 years ago in Walsall and remains headquartered at Cable Drive.
It employs more than 3,500 people in UK including 1,500 at Walsall and 1,000 field engineers. It has 2.2 million customers.