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True Value recognizes business partners of the year

BY HBSDEALER Staff

True Value has recognized its 2007 Suppliers of the Year and Service Partners of the Year, the latter of which acknowledges a non-product supplier that has provided True Value with excellent service during the past year.

“This year’s winners stand out among an impressive group of suppliers to True Value Company,” said president and CEO Lyle Heidemann. “We recognize this year’s winners for their dedication and exceptional contributions to the co-op.”

Master Lock, the padlock and security products company, earned True Value’s top honor, the Partner of the Year award. Master Lock has supplied True Value since 1958, and the manufacturer finished 2007 with fill rates to True Value in excess of 96 percent and comparative sales up more than 32 percent over 2006.

The following business partners were named True Value’s 2007 Suppliers of the Year within their respective product categories:

• Master Lock — Hardware and Partner of the Year

• Irwin Industrial Tools — Hand and Power Tools

• Pentair — Plumbing

• Energizer Battery — Electrical

• Sunnyside Corp. — Paint

• Weber-Stephen Products — Seasonal Products

• North American Salt — Lawn & Garden

• Midea Group — Home

• Bonsal American and Sakrete — Lumber & Building Materials

• Neo-Neon International — Global Sourcing

The co-op also recognized OLR, a True Value preferred system solution provider and global supplier of services to implement Oracle Retail software, as Service Partner of the Year at the event.

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Lowe’s evacuated after chemical spill

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s was forced to evacuate a store in Medford, N.Y., yesterday after employees lifting a pallet of hydrochloric acid accidently damaged some of the containers, causing them to leak, according to several media outlets.

Long Island’s Newsday, citing local fire officials, reported that seven people were hospitalized with chemical burns and respiratory problems. The Suffolk police said that no one suffered life-threatening injuries, however. It was unclear as to whether those exposed to the chemicals were customers or employees.

News 12, a Long Island television station, reported that two customers were sent to local hospitals and the rest of the victims were treated at the scene.

Hydrochloric acid, also known as muriatic acid, is commonly used as a pool-cleaning agent. According to Newsday, Lowe’s workers accidently poked a case of plastic bottles of hydrochloric acid with a forklift, causing them to leak. The incident happened at about 2:40 p.m. The store was evacuated and closed down for cleanup for the next three hours, the newspaper said.

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Creditors to take majority control of Ainsworth Lumber

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Vancouver-based oriented strand board producer Ainsworth Lumber, facing financial difficulty because of tumult in the U.S. housing market, has announced a plan to allow creditors to take over 96 percent of the company.

The recapitalization plan is pending the approval of shareholders and Canadian courts. Under the plan, members of the founding Ainsworth family will lose their controlling interest, according to the Edmonton (British Columbia) Journal. The Ainsworth family members most recently controlled 58 percent of company shares and have been prominent in the company’s management. That will change under the new arrangement, with the new owners of the company being the bondholders who will own 96 percent of newly issued stock.

As part of the plan, $823.5 million in debt will be converted to equity in the company and $150 million in new bonds. A further $200 million in bonds will be issued to fund recapitalization costs and operating expenses.

The company’s board of directors, supported by a recommendation of an independent committee, unanimously recommended the action.

“[Under the] company’s existing capital structure, the recapitalization is the best alternative available to the company and its lenders, noteholders, shareholders and other stakeholders,” read a statement from the lumber company.

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