LONDON — Speedo has formed a new strategic alliance in Japan with Mitsui & Co. Ltd. The London-based sports and swimwear company has granted the master license for Speedo to the Japanese company in a deal beginning June 1.

Mitsui, one of the largest enterprises in Japan with revenues in excess of $120 billion, will manage all licensing activity and will coordinate all marketing efforts in the Japanese market.

Speedo said in a statement that, as part of the deal, Goldwin Inc. has been granted the exclusive licensing and distribution rights for the core Speedo product categories of swimwear, apparel and equipment.

Goldwin is a major Japanese manufacturer of sportswear and equipment, working with brands under its own trademarks as well as licensed trademarks. It currently operates in excess of 100 retail stores in Japan.

Speedo’s current licensee in Japan is Mizuno Corp. Mizuno is focusing on the development of its own brand, and by mutual agreement, Mizuno and Speedo have decided to terminate their relationship, the statement said.

The licensing relationship between Speedo and Mizuno goes back 40 years, and the statement said the split was amicable. The two companies will part ways as of May 31.

This story first appeared in the January 2, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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