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Private equity firm ACON Investments will take over control of the True Value hardware co-op as a result of a deal in which True Value members will get roughly $229 million in returns and credits, ACON and True Value have announced.

The agreement announced March 15 will "accelerate True Value’s long-term strategy to better support independent retailers," a press release said. It added:

Under the terms of the agreement, ACON will make a strategic investment in the new True Value operating company. ACON’s investment will result in current True Value retailers having 70% of their invested capital, 100% of their promissory notes and the 2017 Patronage Dividend repaid following close. This represents approximately $229 million in returns and credits to current True Value retailers, who will also retain a 30% holding in the new True Value Company.

There will no longer be a requirement to purchase stock to be able to purchase products from True Value, thus freeing up members’ and customers’ capital, the press release said. In addition, the previously announced commitment to eliminate the promotional advertising fee will be upheld.

True Value had gross billings of over $2.0 billion and revenue of $1.5 billion in 2017. Its co-op spans approximately 4,400 independent retailer locations worldwide.

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