Jim Abrams (left) CEO of Clockwork Home Services, and Eddy Collier, president of Direct Energy Services.

Direct Energy, an integrated energy and services company in North America and a subsidiary of British company Centrica plc, acquired the assets and business of Clockwork Home Services June 10 for $183 million. The transaction, which remains subject to certain customary conditions including approval by regulators in the United States and Clockwork’s shareholders, was expected to be completed July 1.

Direct Energy Services and Clockwork Home Services will combine to become the largest provider of heating and cooling, plumbing and electrical services to more than 3 million households annually in North America. Clockwork Home Services will still be managed from Sarasota, Fla.

Capital was the constraint for Clockwork to move forward, saidJim Abrams, CEO of Clockwork Home Services. The deal with Direct Energy will bring Clockwork access to customers, capital and sophisticated management, as well as expertise in selling home service agreements.

Abrams said that Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning and Mister Sparky franchisees and owned operations, and Clockwork’s affinity clients (which include Plumbers’ Success International, AirTime 500 and Electricians’ Success International) will benefit from Direct Energy’s experience in the home services industry as well as the financial support and UK energy services market expertise of its parent company, Centrica plc.

Eddy Collier, president of Direct Energy Services, said the company has 8.5 million service agreements in the United Kingdom. Direct Energy’s goal is to move the North American market in the same direction with Clockwork’s help.

The combined organization will operate in almost every state and Canadian province, providing repair and maintenance services to customers’ heating and cooling systems as well as energy-efficiency-related services to both homes and businesses. Clockwork’s brands, customer service, and customer management systems complement Direct Energy Services’ strong maintenance and service plan product offering and market leadership in Canada, Collier said.

The new organization also will focus on obtaining state, provincial and federal energy-efficiency funding that is widely available to help make North American homes more energy efficient.