Hardware Retailing

APR 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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Upcoming Events HARDWARE RETAILING | April 2018 80 Newsmakers April 11-13 Wallace Hardware Co., Inc., Spring Dealer Market Pigeon Forge, Tennessee 14-17 Home Hardware Market St. Jacobs, Ontario May 8-10 National Hardware Show ® Las Vegas 8-10 NRHA All-Industry Conference Las Vegas 18-21 Do it Best Spring Market Indianapolis June 13-14 Global DIY Summit Barcelona, Spain 18-20 Group Merchandising Conference Atlanta July 27-29 United Hardware Buying Market Minneapolis Upcoming Events True Value Strikes Deal With Strategic Investor T he True Value Co. announced a plan March 15 that they say will accelerate the company's long-term business strategy and secure the future of the independent retailers it serves. The company has agreed to sell 70 percent ownership in the organization to private investment firm ACON Investments in a deal that would effectively transition the company away from its current co-op model. The move, which is subject to member approval, would return approximately $229 million to True Value's current members who, upon close of the agreement, would receive 70 percent of their invested capital, 100 percent value of their promissory notes and their 2017 patronage dividends. True Value's board has unanimously approved and recommended the transaction. If the deal is approved, the remaining 30 percent equity in the co-op held by members would be transitioned into stock holdings in the newly created True Value Co., allowing members to share in the value the company plans to create in the partnership, company sources say. The majority shareholder in the new True Value Co. would then be ACON, which currently owns companies with more than $5 billion in total revenue. According to True Value's president and CEO John Hartmann, ACON's strategic investment in True Value will provide the co-op's current member owners with access to money that they can use to grow their businesses while still providing them all the products, programs and services they have come to expect from True Value. "I am very excited that this deal would release nearly a quarter-billion in money back to our members that is untouchable by them today without changing any of the fundamental relationships they have with the company," Hartmann says. "What you expect from us today is what we will deliver to you tomorrow, but you can have your money back to do what's right for your business." Hartmann says that this deal represents a watershed moment for the company and provides its current members with more flexibility to improve their businesses. "I have very strong respect for the history of the co-op model, whether it is the True Value flag or any other co-op," he says. "I understand why the co-op model existed, but in 2018, the concept of locking an independent retailer's equity into a company in such a way that they can't touch it … or make the most logical use of that money to invest in their own business … is an outdated model." Expecting Strong Support Hartmann emphasizes that retailers on True Value's board of directors have played an integral role in guiding the company through this process and that the board is "unanimously recommending" the balance of the co-op's retail members approve the deal. True Value will be asking members to vote on the concept by April 12. To read the entire story, visit TheRedT.com/true-value-deal. Find more details about these events and others online at TheRedT.com/calendar. To have your event added, contact Kate Klein at kklein@nrha.org.

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