UPDATE 3-Canada's Rona bows to investor pressure, shuffles board

Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:49pm EST
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* Move could signal more willingness to consider a sale

* Robert Chevrier replaces Robert Pare as chairman

* Rona names four other new directors

* Chevrier says Co plans to sell certain non-core assets

* Rona shares close 3.1 pct higher on the TSX

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Rona Inc named a new executive chairman and reshuffled its board on Monday as part of a deal with its top shareholders that will help the Canadian hardware retailer and distributor avoid a potentially bruising proxy battle.

The move comes just a few months after Rona, Canada's top distributor of hardware, home renovation and gardening products, rebuffed an unsolicited C$1.8 billion ($1.81 billion) takeover proposal from U.S.-based Lowe's Cos Inc.

It could signal a greater willingness to consider a sale of the company, which has performed poorly against Lowe's and Home Depot Inc on its home turf, analysts said.   Continued...