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RONA prowling for U.S. lumberyards

A RONA store in Pierrefonds, Quebec.

Canadian home-improvement retailer RONA is still looking for commercial and pro-oriented acquisitions in the United States -- and it has as much as C$300 million (US$316 million) to spend, according to a Reuters article

RONA CEO Robert Dutton told Reuters in an interview last week that his Quebec-based company is focusing on U.S. distributors or commercial and professional-orientated units, rather than customer-facing retail stores. 

He pointed out that close to 45% of the pro market is controlled by independents and therefore fragmented. 

"We realize that we can be the consolidator in this side of the business in the United States," Dutton said. He added that RONA was prepared to spend between C$50 million and C$300 million on one or more acquisition targets.

RONA has made no secret of its desire to enter the U.S. market and set 2011 as its target date. But now the home-channel company, Canada’s largest with nearly 700 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores of various sizes and formats, has attached a dollar figure to its acquisition plans. 

Last year RONA announced its intent to “establish a national platform in the commercial and professional market” in its own country. The C$6 billion firm has made a series of purchases of Canadian building materials stores, as well as recruit independent LBM outlets to join under the RONA brand.  

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