DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Sold: Handy Hardware to Littlejohn

BY HBSDealer Staff

Handy Hardware Wholesale, the Houston-based co-op that filed for bankruptcy protection in January, announced that Littlejohn Management Holdings has agreed to acquire Handy.

Littlejohn is a Connecticut-based private equity firm with substantial holdings in the wholesale distribution business and the hardware industry. The company’s website includes Howard Berger Co. and Installed Building Products among its portfolio. 

According to Handy, if the deal is approved by the court, then Handy would emerge from bankruptcy this summer as a subsidiary of a Littlejohn portfolio company, while maintining its Handy Hardware brand. Handy would no longer be a member-owned co-op.

In the note to members from the co-op’s board of directors, a series of townhall meetings were said to be in the works for the coming weeks.

The note also said: "Current Handy member dealers will not have to contribute additional equity as part of the plan, and Littlejohn wil also eliminate the 2% warehouse service fee upon closing." 

As part of the deal, Littlejohn will provide $4 million in cash funding to Handy as part of its Debtor in Possession secured financing to ensure that Handy has sufficient funds for inventory procurement and operations during the transition. 

The deal, which has the support of Handy’s board of directors, its member advisory committee and member equity committee, is expected to gain court approval in July 2013, Handy said.

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DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Do it Best recognized for training

BY Ken Clark

For its continued commitment to the development of its employees, Do it Best Corp. has earned international recognition from Dale Carnegie Training, the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based co-op announced.

Company representatives from Dale Carnegie Training presented Do it Best Corp. with its Leadership Award, which recognizes a select group of companies and organizations from around the world that invest in the development their people.

Bob Taylor, president and CEO of Do it Best Corp., accepted the award from Kevin Sensenig, global VP product/delivery solutions.

“We believe strongly in the personal and professional development of our employees at all levels of the company, which is why we have invested in Dale Carnegie Training,” said Taylor. “And it’s because we believe so strongly in the effectiveness and long-term value this program provides not only our employees and our organization, but our communities at large, that we are so excited and honored to be recognized with this award. It’s one we will share across our entire organization.” 

Do it Best Corp. began hosting and facilitating courses through Dale Carnegie Training for its employees and others in the community three years ago. It has since expanded to more than half of its other locations throughout the United States. Courses through Dale Carnegie Training run anywhere from eight to 15 weeks, and participants meet weekly for four-hour sessions.

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Stores-for-sale site enters new phase

BY Ken Clark

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware launched phase two of its HardwareStoresforSale.com initiative, designed to facilitate the buying and selling of hardware stores. 

The new phase introduces an element called Marketplace, which has items such as fixtures, signage and equipment for sale. These store equipment items can be listed for 60 days by a seller for a listing fee of $9.95.           

The original HardwareStoresForSale.com launched in mid-February and allows store owners, no matter their affiliation, to list and view stores for sale. The service is designed for all “convenience hardware retailers.”

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