September 18, 2007 09:00 ET

RONA Steps Up BC Presence by Acquiring Building Supply and Hardware Specialist Dick's Lumber

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 18, 2007) - RONA (TSX:RON), the leading Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products, continues to increase its presence in British Columbia by acquiring 100% of the operating assets and real estate of lumber, building materials and hardware specialist Dick's Lumber. This transaction follows the 2006 Curtis Lumber and Mountain Building Supplies acquisitions and the addition of 14 stores in British Columbia in the past two years through store openings and the recruitment of independent dealers. With the addition of Dick's Lumber three specialized stores in the Vancouver Area, RONA will have 54 stores in BC and will continue opening new big-box and proximity stores with innovative concepts as well as recruiting independent dealers in the years to come. The transaction has been finalized pending the usual conditions and regulatory approvals and will be financed through RONA's existing credit facilities. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Dick's Lumber (please see is a family-owned private company founded in 1964 by Dick and Delma Alexander. Today, Delma, her children David and Karen, along with hundreds of loyal and committed employees, provide superior service, high-quality products and competitive prices to customers throughout the Greater Vancouver Area. The company, which generated more than $100-million in sales in the last twelve months as well as strong profit margins, has also enjoyed solid growth in the past years. Dick's Lumber is one of the largest contractor building supply companies in Western Canada. The company counts two 60,000-square-feet specialized stores (including covered warehouses), one in Burnaby and the other one in Surrey, one 32,000-square-foot store (including covered warehouse) in North Vancouver, along with 22 acres of lumberyards. Customers planning home renovation, multi-unit housing complexes or other construction/renovation projects can count on customized service from Dick's more than 200 knowledgeable staff.

Commenting on the transaction, RONA president and CEO Robert Dutton said, "We have stated in the past that RONA is THE consolidator of the home improvement industry in Canada and this transaction is another step in that direction. Today's acquisition reflects our intention to rapidly develop our presence in British Columbia. In the past two years, RONA has grown considerably in this province through acquisitions, store openings and the recruitment of independent dealer-owners as well as through our national partnership with the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. We're very happy to announce today's transaction. Dick's Lumber is a good fit with our existing operations. It further diversifies our customer base and doubles our presence in the commercial and professional specialist segment.

"Awareness of the RONA brand has rapidly increased in Western Canada in the past few years. According to a recent survey, unaided awareness went from 54% in 2003 to 78% in 2007. We have every intention of becoming the clear market leader by offering a unique shopping experience to our retail and commercial customers there. We're very confident our investments in BC will bear fruit. The province can count on diversified sources of growth to keep its economy running at a good pace," Dutton said.

Dick's Lumber corporate general manager David Alexander was also delighted with the deal. "We're extremely pleased to join forces with RONA as we share the same values," he said. "It's important for the family and the employees to keep our founders' dream alive. We believe RONA has all the qualities it takes to continue to grow our business based on our success in the past 40 years, achieved by providing exceptional service to all our customers. By joining such a strong Canadian brand, we're highly confident our employees will continue to successfully develop the company and contribute to RONA's success by sharing best practices."

The acquisition of Dick's Lumber meets all of RONA's rigorous acquisition criteria:

- Dick's Lumber is expected to add to RONA's earnings per share as of the closing date

- It operates in a sector related to RONA's main activities, which should lead to recurring annual synergies

- It has a strong management team and employees sharing the same values

- The company is highly profitable in its segment and has good growth potential


This press release contains forward-looking statements reflecting RONA's objectives, estimates and expectations. Such statements may be marked by the use of verbs such as "believe," "anticipate," "estimate" and "expect" as well as the use of the future or conditional tense. By their very nature, such statements involve risks and uncertainty. Consequently, results could differ materially from the company's projections or expectations. Factors that could cause results to differ materially from such statements include, among other things, the fact that the expected closing of the transaction referred to in this press release is subject to customary closing conditions and certain regulatory approvals. For information on the nature of risk factors not specifically discussed in this press release, please consult RONA's 2006 annual report under the heading "Risks and Uncertainties."


Tuesday, September 18, 2007, at 10:40 AM (EST), RONA will hold a conference call for the financial community. To join the conference, please dial 514-868-2590 or 1 866 226-1799. To tune in online, please go to


Please note that a picture of Robert Dutton and a representative from Dick's Lumber will be available at around 2:00 p.m. on Marketwire's web site at


RONA Inc. is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of 671 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores of various sizes and formats. With over 26,000 employees working under its family of banners in every region of Canada and more than 14 million square feet of retail space, the RONA store network generates close to $6 billion in annual retail sales.

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