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84 Lumber to receive $5 million loan

BY HBSDEALER Staff

84 Lumber will receive a $5 million low-interest loan from Washington County, Pa., as part of a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program aimed at maintaining and creating jobs, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The loan will be backed by $10 million of real estate owned by 84 Lumber, including the company’s headquarters and office buildings in Eighty Four, Pa., as well as all of the chain’s retail stores in Washington County. The loan was approved by the county’s commissioners.

“They’ve been a stalwart of the business community for over 50 years,” commissioner Bracken Burns said. “For us to walk away from them in their moment of need would have been unworthy.”

The federal loan will become part of the pro dealer’s $55 million refinancing plan, which also includes a $15 million HUD loan approved last August by the Fayette County commissioners. As with the Washington County loan, 84 used real estate holdings as collateral.

Both loans have better terms than private sector financing. The Fayette County loan, for example, is a 17-year loan that would allow the company to pay interest only on the first two years for the $15 million.

The company is in the middle of refinancing $45 million it borrowed in 2008. The two HUD loans, together with $20 million in financing from Wells Fargo and $5 million from company owner Maggie Hardy Magerko, should be enough to pay off the loan, company spokesman Jeff Nobers told Home Channel News in August. The current balance is $55 million, but the company expects to reduce that balance to $45 million with cash from real estate sales over the next few weeks.

“We hope to have all the [refinancing] completed by November,” Nobers said.

84 Lumber reported $1.4 billion in overall sales for 2009.

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Circular of the Week

BY HBSDEALER Staff

This week, Westminster, Mass.-based Aubuchon Hardware gets nautical with its “Set Sail for Fall Savings” sale. The maritime play on words aside, the eight-page circular features deals on wood pellets, thermostats and various stoves for managing the temperature in New England homes. Also prominent are chainsaws, rakes and pruning sheers for the falling foliage.

Hot Deals

• Your choice of Honeywell thermostats or First Alert carbon dioxide detectors for $19.97; • 20% off Fiskars outdoor tools; and • Duraflame Electroheat electric oil filled radiator for $39.97.

The Skinny: Layaway for winter

Snowblowers are a high-ticket item anywhere, but in New England they’re also in high demand, thanks to the kind of snow accumulation that would shock many Americans. Conveniently placed on page eight, right next to a $750 snow blower, the circular points its customers to simple terms: 10% down, no service charge and nine months to pay it off.

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LED International brings MagicBulb to U.S.

BY HBSDEALER Staff

LED International is promoting what it describes as the world’s first rechargeable light bulb.

Just introduced to U.S. vendors, MagicBulb was developed in Norway. With a lifespan of more than 20,000 hours, it saves up to 90% of energy compared with other bulbs, according to LED International. It can be used in any light fixture, and it’s also portable. Once battery-charged, it can shine up to three hours.

The price point of MagicBulbs ranges anywhere from $25 to $60.

“MagicBulb is an award-winning, patented LED light bulb that has taken off overseas and is now making its grand entrance into the United States market,” says Ron Yiu, marketing director for LED International U.S., a division of the Norway-based LED Electronics International AS that developed MagicBulb. “The response has been so overwhelming since we introduced the MagicBulb in Europe and Asia in late 2009.”

The product has garnered a number of awards, including a Gold Medal from The 19th China National Invention Exhibition, September 2010; and IWIS Medal at the International Warsaw Invention Show 2009.

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