Home Depot rescinds bid for EnerBank
Home Depot has ended its pursuit of EnerBank USA, a home improvement lender the Atlanta retailer had hoped to purchase with the goal of forming an industrial loan company (ILC).
Home Depot spokesman Ron Defeo said the retailer informed EnerBank of the decision last week.
“As we move into our fiscal 2008 year, this acquisition is no longer a part of our strategy as we are focusing all of our resources on our core retail business,” Defeo explained. “As of now, we have no plans to pursue this type of strategy.”
Currently, a moratorium is in effect by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) on approvals of new ILCs until Jan. 31. Home Depot is pulling out of its bid just as the waiting period set by the FDIC is due to expire next week
Most recently, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation that would stop retailers and other commercial companies from starting ILCs. The legislation would bar non-financial companies from owning or starting ILCs, a process both Home Depot and Wal-Mart have undertaken in the last year. Wal-Mart has since withdrawn its application to establish an ILC.
While critics of ILCs say the banks hurt competition by giving too many assets to too few large companies, proponents say ILCs foster competition by reducing fees and costs to consumers.
ProBuild names manufacturing head
ProBuild Holdings has announced the appointment of Lonnie Bernardoni as its new senior vp-manufacturing, where he will oversee the conpany’s component and millwork activities. He comes to ProBuild from Motorola, where he served as corporate vp-new product introduction.
Bernardoni’s 18-year tenure at Motorola also included stints as vp-supply China, manufacturing operations manager, plant manager and manufacturer process engineer at domestic and overseas plants.
ProBuild is the nation’s largest LBM chain, with more than 500 locations in 40 states.
Stanley Works announces strong fourth quarter
New Britain, Conn.-based Stanley Works reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $92.3 million, up 6.6 percent from $86.6 million from the same period last year. Net sales from the quarter were $1.16 billion, up 14.5 percent from $1.02 billion in last year’s fourth quarter.
For the year, the company had net earnings of $336.6 million, up 16.2 percent from $289.5 million in 2006. Net sales were $4.48 billion, up 11.6 percent from last year’s sales of $4.09 billion.
The company attributed the increase to organic growth, currency and acquisitions.
“2008 promises to be an equally, if not more, challenging year from an end-market perspective. Fortunately, we are entering the year with our portfolio in excellent shape and with the majority of our businesses exhibiting strong momentum,” said John Lundgren, chairman and CEO for the company.