American hardware wholesaler True Value has entered a strategic partnership with ACON Investments to accelerate the transformation of its company and create the only branded national wholesaler without membership requirement.

Under the partnership, True Value retailers will receive approximately $230m from Acon in the form of returns and credits.

The deal will also allow the retailer to retain a 30% holding in the unified entity, which will be led by the current True Value management team.

True Value president and CEO John Hartmann said: “This significant investment allows True Value Company to accelerate its transformation, while unlocking the vast potential to partner with current and prospective retailers as a more flexible supplier and service provider.

“We believe that independent hardware retailers are an essential part of our society, providing consumers and communities with unrivalled service and expertise.”

“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, together with our new partners at Acon.”

As part of the deal, True Value will continue to offer an expansive product selection, superior product availability and delivery, its a la carte value-added services, including marketing programmes, store remodel support, e-commerce ship-to-store and True Value University to all its customers.

Acon managing partner Aron Schwartz said: “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.”

Headquartered in Chicago, True Value is a hardline wholesaler serving independent hardware retailers through its 4,400 stores in more than 60 countries worldwide.