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Home Depot, U.S. Home Systems close merger transaction

BY HBSDealer Staff

Home Depot and U.S. Home Systems have announced the completion of the merger of USHS with an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Home Depot. The merger was approved by the stockholders of USHS at a special meeting held on Oct. 26. As a result, USHS became an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Home Depot.

Irving, Texas-based USHS is currently an exclusive provider of kitchen and bath refacing products and services, as well as closet and garage organizational systems to Home Depot.

"The Home Depot has had a long-standing relationship with USHS. By formally bringing USHS into The Home Depot family, we expect to further enhance our customers’ home service experience," said Kevin Hofmann, senior VP Home Services, Home Depot.

"The USHS board of directors conducted a thorough review of the company’s alternatives to enhance stockholder value, and we are pleased that this transaction appropriately recognizes the value of USHS’ relationships and solutions, while providing our stockholders with an attractive cash premium for their investment," said Murray Gross, president, CEO and chairman, USHS.

As a result of the merger, USHS’ common stock ceased trading on the NASDAQ Global Market at market close on Oct. 26. Stockholders who hold shares through a bank or broker will not have to take any action to have their shares converted into cash; the conversions will be handled by the bank or broker. Stockholders who hold certificates can surrender their certificates for $12.50 per share in cash, without interest, through the paying agent for the merger, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A will be sending out a letter of transmittal and instructions to registered stockholders in the next several days regarding specific actions they will need to take to surrender their shares for the merger consideration. USHS’ stockholders of record should wait until they receive the letter of transmittal before surrendering their share certificates.

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IKEA commits to become energy independent

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The IKEA Group plans to become energy- and resource-independent by 2020, according to the chain’s new “People & Planet Positive” sustainability initiative.

Its goal to produce as much renewable energy as is consumed in its stores and buildings builds on the $1.8 billion the company has allocated to wind and solar projects. It also includes improving the energy efficiency in IKEA operations by at least 20% and encouraging suppliers to do the same plans to change more than 1 million light sources inside its stores to LED and other more efficient lighting.

In the United States, IKEA has increased the number of solar installations to 34 stores and distribution centers, with five more underway; which represents 90% solar presence in the United States. Additionally, there are 33 electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in western United States.

The company is also looking to “inspire and enable” customers to live sustainably at home.

“We believe that sustainability should not be a luxury good – it should be affordable for everyone. With over 770 million visitors to our stores, we are excited by the opportunity to help our customers fulfill their dreams at home with beautiful products that help them save money on their household bills by reducing energy and water use, as well as reducing waste,” said Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer, IKEA Group.

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Industry Dashboard for Oct. 29, 2012

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The average price for a gallon of gas continued to decline last week — down to $3.55. Beacon Roofing Supply and Newell Rubbermaid pace the stocks on the Home Channel Stock Roundup.

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