Dutton memoir reveals RONA bid for Lowe’s Canada

MONTREAL — RONA made overtures to purchase Lowe’s Canadian stores almost four years before its own acquisition by Lowe’s, former CEO Robert Dutton recounts in his new memoir. Dutton writes that he first floated the offer at a meeting with a Lowe’s executive in the summer of 2011. “We could buy their Canadian stores before they’re still dumping huge sums of money into a development that is slower, more expensive and more difficult than they expected,” he writes. According to Dutton, Lowe’s attitude to the offer cooled by the time of a second meeting a couple of weeks later, where the U.S. firm was keen to make its own offer for RONA’s big box stores. The meeting didn’t go well and Dutton sought thereafter to unite major shareholders, including Quebec government bodies, against a possible hostile bid.