Swimwear brand Speedo has signed a new strategic alliance in Japan with Mitsui & Co Ltd, a deal that brings to an end a 40-year relationship with previous licensee Mizuno.

With revenues in excess of US$120bn, Mitsui is one of the largest enterprises in Japan, and will manage all licensing and marketing activities for the Speedo brand in Japan from 1 June 2007.

Speedo's swimwear, apparel and equipment in Japan are licensed and distributed by sportswear manufacturer Goldwin Inc.

Goldwin makes and distributes brands under its own trademarks, as well as licensed trademarks. Brands under management include Goldwin, Ellesse, The North Face, Danskin, Canterbury, Champion, Helly-Hansen, Scott, Teva and Victorinox to name a few. Goldwin also operates more than 100 retail stores in Japan.
The new alliance with Mitsui will pick up when its current licensing deal with Mizuno Corporation ends on 31 May 2007. The two companies stress their parting is an amicable one, with Mizuno intending to focus on the development of its own brand.

Speedo, which is owned by Pentland Group, is pursuing a multi-category lifestyle strategy for the Speedo brand globally.