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Another Acquisition Adds New Group to Authority Brands


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One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning is among the franchises joining Authority Brands with its acquisition of Clockwork.

With its third buy since being acquired by Apax Partners in September 2018, Authority Brands will fold Clockwork, Inc. and its three home service providers into its Maryland-based company. It’s the latest move in a string of recent home and outdoor services franchise acquisitions as multi-brand franchisors look to boost opportunities to cross-sell to franchisees and widen their reach.

The $300 million acquisition of Clockwork, expected to close in the first half of this year, will bring Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, Mister Sparky electric and One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning under Authority Brands’ umbrella, joining The Cleaning Authority, Homewatch CareGivers, America's Swimming Pool Company and Mosquito Squad. Direct Energy Group, a subsidiary of international energy and services company Centrica, has owned Clockwork since 2010.

Rob Weddle, CEO of Authority Brands, called the deal an “important and significant step in the evolution of Authority Brands.”

“All three brands are market-leading franchises within their respective industries and their addition to our portfolio doubles our overall system revenue to over $1 billion,” Weddle said in an announcement of the deal. “This scale allows us to further strengthen each of our brand's systems and continue down the path of becoming the home services franchisor of choice for both business owners and consumers.”

Benjamin Franklin and Mister Sparky both moved up in the Franchise Times Top 200+ ranking last year, to No. 244 and No. 330, respectively. Benjamin Franklin posted systemwide sales of $196 million, while Mister Spark came in at $89 million. One Hour slipped three spots to No. 182 but still pulled in $365 million in sales.

The attractive markets in which Clockwork brands operate—it has more than 700 franchise territories—will bring scale and diversification to Authority Brands' platform, noted Ashish Karandikar of Apax Partners. “We anticipate substantial benefits for both businesses from cross-selling and collaboration across marketing, technology and operational support,” he said.

Authority Brands’ existing franchises have more than 550 locations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Kenya and Indonesia.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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