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RONA acquires Best-MAR Plumbing

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Boucherville, Quebec-based RONA has announced the acquisition of Best-MAR Plumbing and Heating Supplies, an Ontario-based institutional, commercial and industrial (ICI) firm.

The transaction has been finalized pending certain conditions, the company said in a statement. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008 and will be financed through RONA’s existing credit facilities. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Best-MAR has three locations in Ontario, with head offices in Ottawa. The company has annual sales of around $20 million, according to a statement from RONA.

The acquisition “reflects our intention to develop our network of specialized plumbing and heating branches in Canada,” said Michael Storfer, vp-commercial and professional markets. “Best-MAR represents an excellent fit with our existing operations and provides us with a springboard in the greater Ottawa/Gatineau region.”

RONA operates a network of more than 670 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores in Canada, with approximately $6 billion in sales last year.

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Wal-Mart plans new crop of energy-efficient stores

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores announced it will be opening the first of four second generation, high efficiency stores in Romeoville, Ill., on Jan. 23. The stores will use 25 percent less energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using 90 percent less refrigerant, the company said.

The new stores will incorporate what the company has learned from its first generation of high efficiency stores (HE.1) combined with new technologies, including white roofs, low-flow bathroom faucets, LED lights and an advanced daylight harvesting system, the company said.

“We’ve learned a lot since we opened our first HE.1 store one year ago, and we are excited to put what we have learned into practice with the HE.2,” said Charles Zimmerman, vp-prototype and new format development at Wal-Mart. “The secondary loop system is ideal because it not only makes the store more efficient, but also allows us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Leslie Dach, Wal-Mart’s executive vp-corporate affairs and government relations, made the announcement at the National Retail Federation’s 97th Annual Convention & Expo in New York City.

“These stores are another solid step toward achieving our environmental commitments,” said Dach. “We will continue to find new ways to build stores that have a reduced impact on the environment and ultimately reach a day when every new store is 25 to 30 percent more energy efficient than it was in 2005.”

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Home builder group voices goal of ‘50 percent energy reduction’

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A Northern California home builders’ group has begun lobbying for a new goal of reducing energy consumption of homes 50 percent by 2020. The Home Builders Association of Northern California represents around 100 builders, including KB Home, Pulte and Centex.

Member builders will be required to achieve the reduction compared with 1990 energy consumption levels within 14 years, said association president Joseph Perkins. Additionally, members will be asked to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent within the same time frame.

The builders group also announced its support for the adoption of green building standards created by the Berkeley, Calif.-based nonprofit group Build It Green. So far, 15 of the 101 cities and counties in the nine-county region have made Build It Green standards mandatory, according to the East Bay Business Times.

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