Confirmed: Home Depot Acquires China's Home Way
Dec 13, 2006
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Yesterday's reports that The Home Depot was finally making an acquisition in China were confirmed today when the global do-it-yourself retail giant made the official announcement: it signed a definitive agreement to acquire China home improvement retail chain The Home Way. The transaction already has the needed regulatory approvals from the Chinese government and is expected to close before year's end. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Home Way gives Home Depot an immediate retail presence in China. With the help of Home Way's management team, Home Depot plans to accelerate its understanding of the retail business and the market in China.

"This acquisition provides us with a great point of entry in one of the world's largest and fastest-growing home improvement markets," said Home Depot Chairman, President and CEO Bob Nardelli.

"Fast-growing" may be an understatement for the Chinese market, worth U.S. $50 billion, that's expanding at a compounded annual rate of 20 percent.

It's been 2-1/2 years since Home Depot opened a business development operation in China and names it's first president for The Home Depot Asia.  Annette Verschuren is now president, The Home Depot Asia/Canada, and leader of its retail expansion into China.

Verschuren said the culture established at Home Way by Chairman and CEO Du Sha, as well as his entrepreneurship and leadership, will be important factors in Home Depot's success in China. Du Sha founded the retail chain in 1996. The chain is headquartered in Tianjin, one of the largest Chinese cities. Home Way is said to have been the first "big box" home improvement retail chain in China, with its stores averaging 90,000 square feet of selling space. Today it has about 3,000 employees in 12 stores in the Chinese cities of Tianjin, Beijing, Xi'an, Qingdao, Shenyang, and Zhengzhou.

"We believe that we can continue to enhance our customers' experience as we benefit from The Home Depot's expertise in retail, sourcing and supply chain operations," Du Sha commented.

Home Depot made the announcement with Du Sha as well as U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and Vice Minister Yi Xiaozhun of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

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