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RONA: Independent merchants say "No, thank you” to the president of Lowe’s
Montreal, August 22, 2012 – Independent merchants of 164 RONA stores from across Canada have sent the following letter to Robert A. Niblock, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lowe’s Companies Inc., to directly inform him that they do not support the Lowe’s unsolicited takeover bid.
August 21, 2012
Mr. Robert A. Niblock CEO and Chair of the Board Lowe’s Companies Inc. 1000 Lowe’s Boulevard Mooresville, North Carolina, 28117 USA
Dear Mr. Niblock: We, the undersigned, are all affiliate or franchisee merchants of RONA Inc., the Canadian company that was recently the target of an unsolicited acquisition proposal by your company. We are reacting to your proposal as entrepreneurs who feel strongly about the unique RONA business model and culture. We want to reinforce your view that it may not be a good idea for you to buy RONA, after you appeared to state your doubts about the deal on Monday, while you were announcing your financial results. We respectfully say “No, thank you” as we feel that Lowe’s business model is incompatible with the one with which we have individually chosen to engage. Of course RONA is an attractive company to one like yours, with a firmly established network of more than 200 corporate stores belonging to the RONA group (approximately 60 of which are big-box stores like yours). What makes RONA unique, however, is the network of over 400 independent merchants: us. Each of us personally owns our hardware stores and we are very proud of that. We have strong bonds with our customers in our respective communities in all the regions of Canada. In many cases, we have done so for several generations. In addition, franchisees are running 20 other big-box stores. From British Columbia to Newfoundland, diversity is our hallmark, and embodies the roots of the company with which we have chosen to affiliate.
As independent entrepreneurs, we have made several business and financial decisions over the years; they have been based on our affinity with the RONA brand, business model and – very importantly – the people that make up the RONA culture. We have chosen to define our business ventures by following the RONA business plan—a plan in which we have a significant say, because of the co-operative spirit that drives the group and its managers, people to whom we enjoy easy access, and in whom we trust. We have signed long-term agreements with RONA based on the company’s unique business model, which values the co-existence of big-box outlets and neighbourhood stores, with the diverse needs and values of our customers front of mind. We have chosen to belong to a structure that enables us to place our trust in hundreds of local Canadian suppliers we know by their names, that invests heavily in professional development and that has ethics and the local community at its core. We are entrepreneurs, motivated by a drive to make our business succeed. We are driven by our very concrete investments in RONA and our belief in its business model. Collectively we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years alone, which serves to underscore our commitment to our licensing agreements and our dedication to the RONA business model and its future plans. In short: we are RONA shareholders. We are RONA’s clients. We are the retailers who sell RONA’s products. We know the retail sector; it is our trade. We know what our customers want and believe that the RONA product offering reflects that as well as local values across the country. It is for all these reasons that we decided to become part of RONA - above the other competition –and why we cannot support your planned hostile takeover.
Signatories: John Albi (Newcastle) Richard Allard, Fernande Allard, Jean Allard (L’Île-Perrot) Michael Allen (North Vancouver) Bruce H. Allen (North Vancouver) Jacques Anctil (Rivière-du-Loup) Raynald Archambault (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu) Onil Audet, Mario Audet (Québec, Saint-Marc-des-Carrières) Jean-Denis Beauchamp (Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan) Lisette Beaulieu, Serge Lemay (Montréal) André Bécaud, Gilles Lamoureux, (Montréal-Nord) Claude Bélanger (Montréal) Pierre Bellefleur (Montréal) Georges-Henri Berger (La Prairie) Jean-Claude Bernier (La Malbaie) Lorenzo Bérubé, Julien Marc-Aurèle (Baie-Comeau) Daniel Blanchette (Sainte-Camille-de-Bellechasse)
André Blain, Pauline Blain, Serge Blain (Montréal) Frédéric Boisvert (Québec) André Boulais (Marieville) Daniel Bourque (Lasalle) Fabien Bouvette, Patrice Bouvette (Saint-Cyrille-de-Wendover) Bernard Breton, Jean-Pierre Breton (Saint-Narcisse-de-Beaurivage) Jean-Pierre Breton, Marie-Pierre Breton (Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures) Louise Breton (Waterville) Lyman Brewster (High Level) Patrice Brochu (Saint-Henri-de-Lévis, Saint-Lambert-de-Lauzon) Steven Brown (Lone Butte) Romeo Bruno (Cranbrook) Roger Card, Brenda Card (Bancroft) Jacques Caya, Louise Caya, Roger Caya (Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Conseil) Dianne Clarke Dwight (Fort St. John) André Champagne, Guy Champagne (Saint-Honoré-de-Shenley) Michel Charbonneau, Roland Charbonneau (Mirabel) Yves Chartier (Lachine) Robert James Cobbledick (Coboconk) Conde, Gauvin (Saint-Quentin) André Dagenais, Lise Dagenais (Saint-Sauveur) Benoit Daigle, Guy Daigle (Dunham) Kevin P. Davies, Kimberly E. Davies (Grand Ben) Romuald Derrible (Saint-Pierre et Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon) Philippe Desjardins (Longueuil) Brad Dick (Portage La Prairie) Marc-André Drouin, Nathalie Lagrange (Sainte-Marie, Saint-Elzéar) Nancy Dubreuil, Stéphane Dubreuil (Lebel-sur-Quévillon) Gilles Dubois, Marc Dubois (La Doré) Edwin Dueck (Rosenort) Gaétan Dumais, René Dumais (Saint-Pascal) Leonard Earl, McLeod George, Donna Mae, Fletcher George (Langley) Louise Faubert, Marc Faubert (Châteauguay) Eric Fitzpatrick, Rhonda Fitzpatrick, Stephen Fitzpatrick (Wabush) Michel Fournier, Benoit Fournier, Denis Murray (Lacolle) Benoit Forget (Mont-Tremblant) Camil Fortin (L’Ascension-de-Notre-Seigneur) Mack Foster (Richmond) Bertrand Fradet (Dolbeau-Mistassini, Saint-Félicien) E.James Fulford (Owen Sound) Louis Gagné (Montréal) André Gagnon (Granby, Saint-Hyacinthe, Beloeil, Saint-Bruno) Claude Gauthier (Shawinigan, Grand-Mère, St-Tite, Nicolet, Trois-Rivières, Bécancour, Joliette) Sylvain Gauthier, Richard Gauthier, Dominique Gauhtier (Les Cèdres, Saint-Polycarpe) Mario Gélineau (Saint-Hubert) Liette Genest (Saint-Apolinaire) Daniel Giroux (Mansonville) Raymond Girardot (Roxton Falls)
Delphine Grégoire (Montréal) Guy Gosselin (Frelighsburg) Lewis Hendrickson (Revelsotke) Brian Higgins (Victoria) Parick A. Hull (Powell River) Russell Jones, Maria Teresa Jones (Madeira Park) Kelvin Kralka (Pine Falls) Nicole Laberge (Huntingdon) Stéphane Lacasse, Martin Lacasse (Aylmer, Gatineau, Plateau) Donald Langdon (Ridgeway) London, Mitchell, Strathroy, Watford) Georges Lanouette, Marc Lanouette, Jean Lanouette (Montréal) Eugène Lapointe (Longueuil) Richard Latreille, Nathalie Solomon (Gatineau) Gaétan Leduc (Alfred) Phillipe Leduc (Longueuil) Jean-Marc Legault (Montréal) Vincent Legault (Rivière-des-Prairies) Clément Limoges, Michel Limoges (Crabtree, Le Gardeur, l’Assomption) Normand Lortie (Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts) J.Brian Maclean, Shana Knight (Wasaga Beach) Edwin Magher (Saint-Odilon) Richard Malette (Montréal) Mathieu Marco, Carl Marco (Wickham) George McCullough (Terrace) Colin Mcgillivray (Elora) Robbie McKay (Black Diamond) Valmond Melanson (Cocagne) Gérard Mercier (Longueuil) Paulin Moisan (saint-Raymond) Jean Morin (L’Ancienne-Lorette) Robert Mullett, Rose Mullett (Moosomin, Nipawin) Nicole Nadeau (Montréal) Vincent Paradis, Nicolas Paradis (Asbestos) Pierre Parent (Kedgwick) Michel Perron (Québec) Micheline Phaneuf, Normand Pelletier (Saint-Hyppolite) André Poirier (Saint-Jérôme) Nancy Powell-Quinn, D’Arcy Quinn (London, Mitchell, Strathroy, Watford, Tillsonburg, Exeter) Jean Prud’homme, Dominic Prud'homme (Charlemagne) Jacques Provost (Saint-Nicéphor) Richard Provost, Stéphane Provost (Montréal) Quinc. Metro Inc., Centre de rénovation Terrebonne Inc., Gestion Edmon Inc. (Laval) Marc Racine (Laval) Farrel Rempel (La Broquerie) François Richard (Saint-Michel-des-Saints, Saint-Zénon) Katrine Richard (Verdun) Jeff Rickman, Sue Rickman (Florence) Réal Riopel, Pierrette Riopel, Michel Riopel (Entrelacs)
Jenny Roy (Gaspé) Robin Roy Cosh (Macklin) Gary Seamone, Laura Lee Seamone (New Germany) Kenneth Robert Selby (Russell) Norman Scott, Debra Scott (Lac du Bonnet) Jacques St-Cyr (Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel) Jean-Pierre St-Gelais (Chicoutimi) Michelle St-Martin (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu) Jean-Sébastien St-Pierre (Matagami) Sherry Taylor (Scotch Creek) Jocelyn Trahan (La Tuque) Jacques Tremblay (Baie-Comeau) Diane Turcotte, Sylvie Turcotte (Amos, Val-d’Or, Malartic) Louis Turcotte (Boucherville, Montréal, Pointe-aux-Trembles) Louis Turcotte (Nepaen, Gloucester) Serge Viger, Manon Leblanc (Laval) Jeannot Vigneault (Cap-aux-Meules)
The independent RONA merchants have also started a Facebook group, “À nous – RONA – Our own,” which Canadians can use to express their support for their position. - 30 Source: Independent merchants of 164 RONA stores from across Canada
For further information and interviews with regional spokespersons: All the provinces but Quebec: Laurie Griffin Corpen Group firstname.lastname@example.org 403 827-6425 Quebec: Marie-Christine Ethier TACT Intelligence-conseil email@example.com 514 346-6572
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