Canadian home improvement retailer RONA Inc. announced that it has “re-established itself” as an independent industry player following its acquisition by private equity firm Sycamore Partners.
The New York-based firm, specialing in retail, consumer, and distribution-related investments, completed its acquisition of Lowe’s Canadian business on Feb. 3.
Stores that operated under the Lowe’s banner will all eventually be converted to the RONA brand, which is based in Boucherville, Quebec.
The RONA fleet of stores, all included in the acquisition, consists of 450 corporate and independent affiliate dealer stores operating under the Rona, Lowe’s, Réno-Dépôt, and Dick’s Lumber. The RONA brand has served Canada for more than 80 years and was established in Quebec in 1939.
RONA noted that it will still offer Lowe’s private label brands while honoring warranties and gift cards issued by Lowe’s Canada.
“The senior leadership team and I are very excited to begin this new chapter in the history of Rona band that is valued by DIYers and contractors across the country,” said Tony Cioffi, president of RONA inc. “This milestone is positive for all our stakeholders, including our employees, affiliated dealers, vendors, customers, and the communities where we operate. We look forward to a bright future and believe this will be a unique opportunity for our 26,000 employees to promote the RONA name and increase the visibility of this strong brand among consumers.”
In January 2022, Cioffi was appointed president of Lowe’s Canada this past January and succeeded Tony Hurst who moved to U.S. operations after being named Lowe’s senior vice president of pro, services, and international.
But in a surprising announcement last November, Lowe’s announced that it was selling Lowe’s Canada to Sycamore Partners for $400 million in cash and performance-based deferred consideration.
The sale translates into Lowe’s paying a much higher ticket price to exit Canada than it did to make its major entry into the nation.
In 2016, Lowe’s paid $2.4 billion to complete its acquisition of RONA. At the time, RONA was a thriving, independent Canadian home improvement retailer that essentially set the stage for Lowe’s Canada’s business model.
Prior to being purchased by Lowe’s, RONA had entertained thoughts of entering the United States.
At the time of announcing the sale, which marked the end of Lowe’s international retail efforts, Chairman, CEO, and President Marvin Ellison said, “By executing this transaction, we will intensify our focus on enhancing our operating margin and ROIC, taking market share in the U.S. and creating greater shareholder value.”