Lowe's Plan to Buy Rona - A Transaction That Serves neither the Interests of Quebecers nor Those of Canadians

QUÉBEC, July 31, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Further to information revealed today by Rona concerning Lowe's plans, the Minister of Finance, Raymond Bachand, said: "This transaction does not appear to be in the interests of either Québec or Canada".

Rona is a major player in Québec's economy, particularly in the manufacturing industry because of its extensive network of suppliers and strong links with many regional players across Canada. It should be noted that almost half of Rona's purchases are made in Québec and almost 85% in Canada. Its retail sales, including franchised, affiliated and other independent stores that make purchases from Rona, total in excess of $6 billion per year. Purchases from its suppliers amount to more than $2 billion a year in Québec and more than $3.3 billion in Canada.

Reacting to these plans, Mr. Bachand asked the President and CEO of Investissement Québec, Jacques Daoust, to quickly assess all the options in the event Lowe's goes ahead with its plans. To that end, the Minister of Finance and his colleague, the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, Sam Hamad, mandated Investissement Québec to examine the action to take to counter Lowe's offer, including setting up a fund to defend Québec's interests.

The Minister also noted the orientations of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec as expressed this morning, reaffirming Rona's importance in Québec.

Mr. Bachand also contacted Rona's senior management to advise them "that we are prepared to work with them".

SOURCE: Cabinet du ministre des Finances, ministre du Revenu, ministre responsable de la région de Montréal

For further information:

Office of the Minister of Finance,
Minister of Revenue and Minister responsible
for the Montréal region
Catherine Poulin
Director of Communications
418 643-5270