Caisse chimes in on Rona deal

hammer and nailsRona has been getting a lot of press this week, and not just because it sold the most kitchen sinks. Canada’s largest home improvement company is involved in a takeover battle as U.S. giant, Lowe’s tries to buy the company for $1.8 billion. The deal has attracted the attention of the Quebec government, which called the Rona a “strategic interest” that should not be sold to foreign owners.

The deal has divided investors. Yesterday, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (the Caisse), — a major shareholder — issued a statement warning that the giant Quebec pension fund would be monitoring the situation for:

— value creation for our depositors and for all shareholders over the long term, as well as the importance of the economic benefits of Rona’s head office in Québec;

— the importance of the continuing development of their supplier network in Québec and across Canada; and

— the importance of respecting the role of independent entrepreneurs acting as franchisees under the Rona banner.

The Caisse has also boosted its stake in the retailer to 14%.

Today, however, Rona shareholder, Invesco Canada Ltd, stepped in to back Lowe’s bid. Invesco currently owns 12% of the company.