Lowe's withdraws Rona takeover bid

U.S. home improvement chain Lowe's says it is withdrawing a plan to buy the Rona chain after the company, the Quebec government and others objected to a takeover.
Rona three-month stock chart

Lowe Companies is no longer trying to buy Rona Inc., a controversial plan that would have seen Canada's largest home-improvement retail chain acquired for about $1.8 billion.

The U.S. chain's withdrawal Monday comes seven weeks after Rona, the Quebec government and others objected to the U.S. company's overtures, which had begun privately in late 2011 and became public in late July.

"Lowe's continues to believe that a combination of Lowe's and Rona makes business sense and would create significant value for all stakeholders," Lowe's said in a statement early Monday.

"It is unfortunate that the Rona Board of Directors did not recognize the important economic and commercial benefits of this proposal for its stakeholders and for Canada," the statement said.

"Lowe's remains committed to the Canadian market and will continue delivering outstanding home improvement products and services to its Canadian customers."

The North Carolina-based company said Monday it remains committed to the Canadian market through its own stores.

Although it is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the United States, after Home Depot, Lowe's has a relatively small presence in Canada.

Rona has by far the largest number of company and affiliate-owned home-improvement locations in Canada under its banner, with Home Depot a distant second.

The North Carolina-based company had informally offered C$14.50 per share in cash.