* Rona says “no discussions” with Lowe’s
* Rona CEO Robert Dutton stepped down on Friday
* CEO’s departure stirred speculation that Rona was in play
* Lowe’s withdrew offer to buy Rona for C$1.8 bln in Sept
* Shares up on Toronto Stock Exchange (Adds comment from Lowe’)
Nov 12 (Reuters) - Canadian home-improvement retailer and distributor Rona Inc and U.S. rival Lowe’s Cos Inc both denied on Monday a newspaper report that they were back in takeover talks.
Longtime Rona Chief Executive Robert Dutton stepped down on Friday following disappointing quarterly results, reviving speculation that the company was in play.
Rona, disputing a report in the Quebec newspaper La Presse, said it has not received any kind of proposal from Lowe’s and “there have been no discussions between the two companies on this subject”.
Lowe’s withdrew a C$1.8 billion ($1.8 billion) proposal to buy Rona in mid-September after opposition from Rona’s management, politicians in Rona’s home province of Quebec, and some of its independent dealers.
“Since we withdrew our proposal, we have had no further conversations with Rona,” Lowe’s spokeswoman Julie Yenichek said in an email.
Rona’s stock, which closed up 8.2 percent on Friday after Dutton stepped down, was up a further 3.8 percent at C$10.50 on the Toronto Stock Exchange early on Monday afternoon.
$1=$1.00 Canadian Reporting by Allison Martell in Toronto and Ankur Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das, John Wallace, and Peter Galloway