Handy welcomes DIP financing deal
Handy Hardware Wholesale said it welcomed the bankruptcy court approval of its debtor in possession (DIP) financing loan modification that brings funding from Littlejohn Management Holdings.
Littlejohn, which agreed to acquire Handy and shed its co-op structure as it emerges from bankruptcy, will provide a $4 million DIP loan, funding that will commence this week.
In a note to members, the Handy board wrote: “the financial support from Littlejohn, demonstrated through this loan participation in Handy’s revolving working capital facility, will help Handy raise its service levels for its Member Dealers from the current level of approximately 90% up to the mid 90s – a level to which Member Dealers are accustomed.”
Littlejohn Management Holdings is a Connecticut-based private equity firm with holdings in the wholesale distribution business and the hardware industry.
Under the plan, Handy will emerge from bankruptcy as a subsidiary of a Littlejohn portfolio company and maintain its Handy Hardware identity in the marketplace.
Handy says it expects the court to approve the plan in July.
The note to members pointed out that the Littlejohn acquisition has the approval of the Handy Board of Directors, Member Advisory Committee and Member Equity Committee. It added: “Littlejohn’s objective is to have Handy operate as an independent distributor of hardware related products consistent with Handy’s past though Handy will no longer be a member-owned Co-op.”
Chalifour Canada plans DC enhancement
London, Ontario-based Chalifour Canada will be relocating its Vancouver distribution center to a modern industrial park in nearby Delta, British Columbia.
Construction is expected to be completed by mid-2014.
Chalifour is a hardware wholesaler owned by TIM-BR Marts. It also supports Ace dealers in Canada.
The new, state-of-the-art facility will be located in the Tilbury Industrial Park, approximately 20 minutes from the current site in Surrey. The new location will provide greater visibility for Chalifour, and improved access for commercial trucking, the company said in a statement.
“The facility will be customized to meet the needs of our business, and we are working with a group of professionals to ensure that infrastructure will be in place to support our operations,” says Bret Walters, General Manager of Chalifour Canada.
“We made a commitment to our Dealers to maintain a strong presence on the West Coast, and our move to a new distribution center reflects our ongoing efforts to improve workflow, and streamline our business to be more responsive to the needs of our customers,” adds Tim Urquhart, President and CEO of TIM-BR MART Group.
Do it Best hires retail program manager
Corbin Prows has joined Do it Best Corp. as the retail program manager, responsible for the creation and implementation of marketing strategies to increase co-op member participation in a variety of key retail programs.
Prior to joining Do it Best Corp., Prows spent the previous 18 years at Centennial Wireless in Fort Wayne, which later became AT&T Mobility.
“Corbin brings an outstanding of experience, subject matter expertise and enthusiasm to this important role,” said Tim Miller, Vice President of Marketing for Do it Best Corp. “His nearly two decades of success at both the store level and in corporate functional areas in the highly innovative and competitive wireless industry are among the many reasons he will be such a great contributor to our retail management team at Do it Best Corp.”
Among the programs Prows will lead are Best Rewards — the co-op’s turnkey customer rewards program — as well as the Do it Best Rental Center and Do it Best Radio.
He will work with Do it Best members and the field team to improve store productivity and profitability through the application of customer analytics, while increasing customer frequency and level of engagement with their local Do it Best locations.
“The Retail Program Manager leads proven retail programs that drive significant profitability and customer growth for our members in a very big way, which is why I am excited about this opportunity,” Prows said. “My previous experiences will help me identify additional ways to enhance our current mix of retail programs as well as introduce new growth opportunities for our members.”
Prows earned recognition and performance-based awards for numerous initiatives while at Centennial/AT&T Mobility.