April 20, 2018

True Value Finalizes Strategic Investment by ACON to Accelerate Business Transformation and Unlock Significant Retailer Equity

CHICAGO, April 20, 2018 – True Value Company (“True Value”) and ACON Investments (“ACON”) have today finalized a strategic partnership to accelerate the transformation of True Value Company and create the only branded national hardware wholesaler without a membership requirement.

As previously announced, ACON’s strategic investment will result in approximately $230 million in returns and credits to current True Value retailers, who will receive 70% of their invested capital and 100% of their promissory notes on top of their 2017 Patronage Dividend. Retailers will also retain a 30% holding in the new True Value Company, which will be led by the existing management team. 

John Hartmann, President and CEO of True Value Company commented, “This significant investment allows True Value Company to accelerate its transformation, while unlocking vast potential to partner with current and prospective retailers as a more flexible supplier and service provider. Providing access to the benefits of a national brand without any membership fee is truly a game-changer for this industry, and we are excited to be at the forefront of this important shift. We look forward to continuing to support independent retailers across the US and internationally as we begin this exciting new phase for True Value Company, together with our new partners at ACON.”  

Under the new ownership structure, True Value’s management team will remain fully committed to the existing strategy for business growth, driven by a truly differentiated offering to retailers. True Value will continue to offer an expansive product selection, at highly competitive prices, superior product availability and delivery, and a la carte value-added services like our innovative marketing programs, eCommerce ship-to-store, store remodel support and True Value University, now available to all customers.

“True Value is an iconic brand and one that we have long admired,” said Aron Schwartz, Managing Partner of ACON. “We believe that independent hardware retailers are an essential part of our society, providing consumers and communities with unrivalled service and expertise. We share True Value’s passion for helping to ensure that the independent hardware retailer thrives for decades to come, even as times change and the competition gets tougher.” 

Piper Jaffray served as True Value’s Investment Bank, Winston & Strawn LLP served as True Value’s primary legal advisors along with Dorsey & Whitney LLP and Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP, and Alvarez and Marsal’s Transaction Advisory Group and RSM US LLP acted as True Value’s financial advisors.  

Hogan Lovells LLP served as ACON’s legal advisor.  Alvarez & Marsal’s Private Equity Performance Improvement Group, The Boston Consulting Group, BridgeNet Solutions, KPMG LLP, Triton Value Creation, and Willis Towers Watson supported ACON in its due diligence.  PNC Capital Markets is serving as the lead Agent for the company’s credit facility.

About True Value Company
True Value Company, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the world’s leading hardlines wholesalers with a globally recognized brand and over 70 years’ experience serving independent hardware retailers. True Value Company provides its customers in over 60 countries an expansive product set with market-customized assortments at highly competitive prices, superior product availability, innovative marketing programs and a la carte value-added services like eCommerce ship-to-store, store remodel support and True Value University all within a flexible model which requires no membership. Serving over 4,400 stores worldwide, additional information on True Value is available at

About ACON Investments
ACON Investments, L.L.C. is a middle-market private equity investment firm led by a cohesive team that has been investing together for over 20 years. We partner with management teams to create value through separate funds for our investors across a wide range of industries in the U.S. and in Latin America. Founded in 1996, ACON is responsible for managing approximately $5.5 billion of capital.

ACON is committed to creating value for our investors by pursuing investments in industry-leading companies with dynamic management teams and untapped potential in compelling industries. We form strong partnerships with these talented management teams and support them with a flexible hands-on approach.

ACON has invested in a diverse portfolio of companies spanning over 60 investments in the United States, Europe and Latin America with operations spanning across six continents. Together, our portfolio companies reflect the breadth of our investment experience across various industries and geographies.

Media Contacts:
Jean Niemi
True Value Company
Vice President, Communications

Midhat Pawlak
ACON Investments, LLC