£4bn deal for Walsall-based Homeserve

Home repairs and emergencies services group HomeServe has agreed a £4.07 billion takeover by a Canadian investment group.

Homeserve has been taken over in a major deal
Homeserve has been taken over in a major deal

Brookfield Asset Management will pay £12 per share for Walsall-based HomeServe, which is one of the largest home emergency firms in the UK and also has growing international operations.

It will bring an end to HomeServe’s 18 years as a listed company and also marks one of the biggest deals for a public UK company so far this year.

The deal price marks a 71 per cent premium on HomeServe’s closing share price on March 23, before Brookfield first approached the group.

HomeServe was founded in 1993 by chief executive Richard Harpin as a joint venture with South Staffordshire Water and went on to list in 2004.

Mr Harpin still owns a 7.4 per cent stake in the business, which means the sale is set to boost his personal fortune by around £300 million.

His wife Kate is also understood to own a further 4.8 per cent shareholding in the group.

The group said Brookfield’s deal “recognises the quality of our business, our people and our future growth potential, and allows shareholders to realise their investment at an attractive valuation”.

Mr Harpin said: “Since HomeServe was founded in 1993 with just £500,000 of capital from South Staffordshire Group, the company has gone from strength to strength and now operates in 10 countries with a workforce of around 9,000 employees.

“HomeServe has become a world class business with an important purpose – to make home repairs and improvements easy for homeowners and trades.’

He added: “I am proud of the company we have built and am delighted that Brookfield is committed to providing long-term capital and global expertise.”

HomeServe offers household repair, maintenance and installation services for systems such as plumbing and heating across the UK, as well as in the United States and Europe. The group also provides a range of insurance products.

Sam Pollock, managing partner and chief executive of Brookfield Infrastructure, said: “Richard and the team share Brookfield’s vision for the future of residential infrastructure, making Brookfield the ideal partner to scale the business internationally and across new product offerings.”

The HomeServe directors intend to recommend unanimously that HomeServe shareholders vote in favour of the scheme at the court meeting and the resolution to be proposed at the general meeting.

HomeServe is due to report its annual results for the year to the end of March on Tuesday, May 24.

Brookfield is a leading global alternative asset manager with approximately US $725 billion of assets under management across real estate, infrastructure, renewable power, private equity and credit.

It is listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges and has a track record of owning high quality businesses in utility and residential infrastructure sectors, and can bring operational expertise and new relationships across HomeServe’s three businesses.

The HomeServe board believes both that Brookfield would be a good owner for HomeServe, and that Brookfield’s experience in the energy transition space will support HomeServe’s ambitions in this area.

Brookfield’s intention to continue to invest in each of HomeServe’s businesses to improve the long-term strategic value of them.

Tommy Breen, chairman of HomeServe, said: “HomeServe is a very high-quality business with a clear strategy and strong management team, which has been led entrepreneurially by its founder, Richard Harpin, for almost 30 years.”

He said the offer recognised the quality of the business, its people and the future growth potential and allowed shareholders to realise their investment at an attractive valuation.

“The HomeServe board also believes that Brookfield’s experience with residential infrastructure businesses should generate enhanced opportunities for our employees and a continued high-quality service to our customers,” he added.

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