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RONA and Ace Hardware International Announce Agreement for Master License of Ace Brand in Canada

RONA to Offer Full Support and Development of Ace Brand as Well as Improved Distribution Services to Current and Potential Ace Dealers in Canada

BOUCHERVILLE, Quebec & OAK BROOK, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--RONA inc. (TSX: RON, RON.PR.A) (“RONA” or the “Corporation”) and Ace Hardware International Holdings, Ltd. (“Ace Hardware International”) announce a long term agreement for master licensing of the Ace brand in Canada. Under this agreement, RONA has specific rights and privileges with respect to Ace Hardware brands, retail operating systems and web portals. RONA and Ace Hardware International have also signed a long term distribution agreement giving RONA access to products available through Ace Hardware’s various channels of distribution including its China direct programs to support the growth of the Ace brand in Canada.

“Today’s announcement is a clear indication of our commitment to continue to develop and improve our network of affiliated dealer stores in Canada”

“Today’s announcement is a clear indication of our commitment to continue to develop and improve our network of affiliated dealer stores in Canada,” said Robert Sawyer, President and Chief Executive Officer of RONA.

“The Ace Hardware brand is well recognized in the US, Canada and internationally. This agreement will enable us to improve our offering to small dealers across the country, to leverage our existing distribution infrastructure and to strengthen our portfolio of banners. Canadian customers will also benefit from this new relationship as RONA will put important efforts in collaboration with Ace Hardware International in the development of the brand, which will perfectly complement RONA’s existing brands, especially in some areas of the country where RONA has a limited presence,” added Mr. Sawyer.

"Ace has been thoroughly impressed with RONA’s commitment to the independent Canadian retailer, their rigor in crafting an efficient country-wide supply chain and their intimate knowledge of and experience in Canada,” said John Venhuizen, President and CEO, Ace Hardware Corporation. “I believe Ace's combination of strengths with RONA will be an exceedingly compelling proposition for both independent hardware and lumber dealers and the Canadian consumer for a very long time to come.”

Robert Moschorak, President and General Manager of Ace International added, “I would like to thank our existing Canadian Ace Hardware dealers for their continued support of the Ace Hardware brand in Canada. We’re looking forward to this exciting next chapter in making Ace Hardware, in alliance with RONA, a premier brand in Canada. This is a story of two great brands and companies coming together to benefit Ace Canada dealers and the Canadian consumer.”

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Press Release includes “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this Press Release, including statements regarding the prospects of the industry and prospects, plans, financial position and business strategy of the Corporation may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Canadian securities legislation and regulations. Investors and others are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on any forward-looking statements.

For more information on the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that would cause the Corporation’s actual results to differ from current expectations please refer to the Corporation’s public filings available at sites www.sedar.com and www.rona.ca. In particular, further details and descriptions of these and other factors are disclosed in the MD&A under the “Risks and uncertainties” section and in the “Risk factors” section of the Corporation’s current Annual Information Form.

The forward-looking statements in this Press Release reflect the Corporation’s expectations as at July 29, 2014, and are subject to change after this date. The Corporation expressly disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise any forward- looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by the applicable securities laws.

ABOUT RONA

RONA inc. is a major Canadian retailer and distributor of hardware, building materials and home renovation products. The Corporation operates a network of over 500 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores under several different banners, and in a number of complementary formats. With its 8 distribution centers and its specialized TruServ Canada wholesaler, RONA serves its network as well as many independent dealers operating under other banners. With some 24,000 employees, the Corporation generates annual consolidated sales of $4.2 billion. For more information, visit rona.ca.

ABOUT ACE HARDWARE

For 90 years, Ace Hardware has been known as the place with the helpful hardware folks in thousands of neighborhoods across the globe, providing customers with a more personal kind of helpful. In 2014, Ace ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores, Eight Years in a Row,” according to J.D. Power. With more than 4,850 hardware stores locally owned and operated across the globe, Ace is the largest hardware cooperative in the industry. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., Ace and its subsidiaries currently operate 14 distribution centers in the U.S. and also have distribution capabilities in Shanghai, China; Panama City, Panama; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its retailers' stores are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and approximately 60 countries. For more information on Ace, visit acehardware.com.

Contacts

Media
RONA inc.
Media Relations
514-626-6976
media@rona.ca
or
Ace Hardware Corporation
Kate Kirkpatrick
Corporate Media Relations
630-990-1478
kkirk@acehardware.com
or
Financial Community
RONA inc.
Stéphane Milot
Vice President, Finance and Investor Relations
514-599-5951
stephane.milot@rona.ca