Ace Hardware announced today it has acquired Emery-Waterhouse, a 170-year-old distributor of hardlines products for independent lumber, paint, industrial and hardware outlets throughout the Northeast.
Emery-Waterhouse will move forward as an independently operated, majority-owned subsidiary of Ace Hardware. The Emery-Waterhouse brand will continue operations as a separate business with a distinct management team that provides wholesale distribution services to independent retailers.
“The acquisition of Emery-Waterhouse serves as a tremendous catalyst to leverage wholesale purchasing power,” Ace Hardware President and CEO John Venhuizen said. “We are confident that both Ace retailers and Emery-Waterhouse customers will benefit from the additional scale and expanded assortments.”
The leadership team of Emery-Waterhouse will remain and continue to manage the business; including Steve Frawley, CEO and Don Dickson, COO. Emery-Waterhouse’s long-time majority owner, Charlie Hildreth, will continue to have a presence in the organization.
“As a leader in the hardlines wholesale distribution industry, aligning with Ace Hardware—the nation’s largest convenience hardware leader at wholesale and at retail—simply makes good business sense,” Emery-Waterhouse CEO Steve Frawley said. “Knowing that we are part of a changing and consolidating industry, this is the right decision for Emery-Waterhouse and our customers.”
The Emery-Waterhouse acquisition falls in line with Ace’s growth strategy in the ever-changing home improvement retail marketplace, Venhuizen said.
“My belief continues to be that Ace has two options as our industry evolves and consolidates: we can do nothing and hope the chips fall our way, or we can participate as a leader to shape our industry for the long-term benefit of Ace shareholders,” he said. “As the current leader and largest hardlines wholesale distributor in the nation, our Board of Director’s and Officer Team’s preference is to lead.”