Ace Hardware Buys Hardware Distributor

CHICAGO (Chicago Tribune/TNS) -

Ace Hardware, based in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, Ill., has paid $32 million to acquire Jensen Distribution Services, a 131-year-old hardware and hardlines distributor based in Spokane, Wash.

Ace, a cooperative of more than 4,900 independently owned hardware stores around the world, expects to boost its wholesale purchasing power with the acquisition of Jensen, which carries some 65,000 items. Last year, Ace acquired Emery-Waterhouse, a Portland, Maine-based hardware distributor.

Ace also announced that Hoyoung Pak would be the new president of Ace Wholesale Holdings. Pak, formerly chief operating officer at market-research company IRI, also had worked at Groupon, Discover and consulting firm McKinsey.

Wholesale accounts for the vast majority of revenue at Ace, which sells to its network of independently owned stores. The company generated $3.5 billion in revenue during the nine months ended Sept. 27, up 13 percent from the same period a year earlier. Net income for those nine months was $128.6 billion, up 58 percent from a year earlier.