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Canadian home-improvement chain rebuffs Lowe’s offer to acquire

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Mooresville, N.C. — Lowe’s Cos. on Tuesday confirmed a July 8 proposal to acquire Canadian home-improvement and hardware retailer Rona, but said the Quebec-based chain rejected the $1.9 billion offer.

According to the 800-store Rona, the sale to Lowe’s would not be in its best interests.

"Rona’s strategic focus remains to execute on its business plan with a view to capturing the significant opportunities that it sees for the business," Rona said in a statement.

According to Lowe’s, talks between the two companies launched last year, and negotiations included at least one previously rejected proposal. Despite the rebuffs, Lowe’s said it plans to continue its efforts to acquire Rona.

“We believe a combination of Lowe’s and RONA makes enormous business sense,” said Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO. "We encourage the board of Rona to reconsider its position."

Under Lowe’s proposal, Rona would remain a Quebec-based company with the Canadian head office in Boucherville, Quebec.

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Rona turns down $1.9 billion acquisition bid by Lowe’s

BY CSA STAFF

Lowe’s made an offer, but Rona refused.

The two North American home improvement giants will continue to operate as competitors in Canada, where Lowe’s has been growing organically for the past several years amid rumors that just such an acquisition play was in the cards.

In the end, the Canadian retailer and distributor Rona rebuffed a $14.21 per share — $1.85 billion — acquisition offer. "Rona’s strategic focus remains to execute on its business plan with a view to capturing the significant opportunities that it sees for the business," Rona said in a statement.

According to Lowe’s, the non-binding proposal was delivered to Rona board chairman Robert Paré, on July 8. Rona’s board asked Lowe’s for additional time to consider the proposal but, then rejected it.

On Tuesday, Lowe’s made it’s proposal public, and it can be seen here.

Lowe’s, which operates 31 stores in Canada, says it hopes the Rona board will reconsider the offer.

In its pitch, Lowe’s said that “Combining Rona’s Canadian operations with Lowe’s strong global presence would provide Rona’s operations with substantial benefits by creating a strengthened Canadian home improvement retailer with world-class capabilities across channels and geographies. While the combined Canadian business would undoubtedly benefit from Lowe’s global reach and deep supplier relationships, Lowe’s believes that preserving Rona’s local market expertise and relationships is critical.”

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Former Microsoft exec joins Mercent

BY CSA STAFF

SEATTLE — Mercent, a technology company that enables retailers to profitably reach and convert more shoppers online, announced that it has appointed Jacqueline Borges as its VP partnerships.

"Mercent’s growth as a leading technology provider to large brand name retailers continues to accelerate and we are at a point to aggressively scale our strategic partnership program and related activities," state Mercent chairman and CEO Eric Best. "Jackie is a strategic addition to the team, whose experience and expertise will provide a significant boost to Mercent’s sales growth and market success."

Borges is responsible for expanding Mercent’s business by leading growth initiatives and building partner relationships that support retail customers. Prior to joining Mercent, she served as a director in the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group. There, she was responsible for business development activities focused on rewarding partners selling Microsoft online and on-premise products worldwide. Previously, she held leadership positions in the Microsoft Virtualization and Core Infrastructure teams, the Enterprise Partner Group, and various product groups including Microsoft SQL Server. Prior to Microsoft, Borges was as a principal technology consultant at Oracle Corp.

Borges holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Economics from Duke University.

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