Competition Bureau approves Rona takeover

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MONTREAL – The Competition Bureau has approved the Lowe’s takeover of Quebec-based Rona.

The federal agency says it has concluded the acquisition by the U.S. company won’t limit consumer choice.

The deal was overwhelmingly approved by Rona shareholders in March, but it also stirred some degree of nationalist sentiment, particularly from Pierre Karl Peladeau, the Parti Quebecois leader at the time.

Lowe’s entered the Canadian market in 2007 and had 42 stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario when the $3.2-billion deal was announced in February.

Rona has 496 corporate and dealer-owned stores across Canada, including 238 in Quebec.

The transaction, which is also subject to review under the Investment Canada Act, is expected to close by the end of May.