True Value Company and ACON Investments have finalized a new strategic partnership, which the companies said will accelerate the transformation of True Value and create the only branded national hardware wholesaler without a membership requirement.
As previously announced, ACON will take a 70% stake in the hardware cooperative. The strategic investment will result in approximately $230 million in returns and credits to current True Value retailers, who will receive 70% of their invested capital and all of their promissory notes on top of their 2017 patronage dividend. Retailers will also retain a 30% holding in the new True Value Company, which will be led by the existing management team.
John Hartmann, president and CEO of True Value Company, stated, “This significant investment allows True Value Company to accelerate its transformation, while unlocking vast potential to partner with current and prospective retailers as a more flexible supplier and service provider. Providing access to the benefits of a national brand without any membership fee is truly a game-changer for this industry, and we are excited to be at the forefront of this important shift. We look forward to continuing to support independent retailers across the U.S. and internationally as we begin this exciting new phase for True Value Company, together with our new partners at ACON.”
Under the new ownership structure, True Value said its management team will remain fully committed to the existing strategy for business growth, driven by a differentiated offering to retailers, including a focus on product selection, competitive prices, product availability and delivery, and a la carte value-added services such as marketing programs, e-commerce ship-to-store, store remodel support and True Value University, now available to all customers.
“True Value is an iconic brand and one that we have long admired,” said Aron Schwartz, managing partner of ACON. “We believe that independent hardware retailers are an essential part of our society, providing consumers and communities with unrivalled service and expertise. We share True Value’s passion for helping to ensure that the independent hardware retailer thrives for decades to come, even as times change and the competition gets tougher.”