The Lowe down on Rona


RONA CEO Robert Dutton could be forgiven for being testy with investors at the hardware retailer's annual general meeting in May. There had been incessant gossiping over whether the company was ripe for a takeover by American rival Lowe's, and Dutton said it was "demoralizing." The chain had been busy scooping up smaller retailers and buying back its shares as it fought to cement its place atop Canada's competitive home-hardware industry.

... "There is a very tight-knit community that exists in Quebec at the senior management level, and when a member of that community is the target of an acquisition it's going to raise eyebrows," says William Polushin, a professor of international business at McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management. "It does raise the red flag because part of the Quebec identity is to have strong, homegrown enterprises and entrepreneurs and that goes beyond the shareholder discussion of return on investment."

Read full article: MacLean's, August 13, 2012