Home Depot: Clean Break

The giant home-improvement retailer is considering shedding its wholesale business. Whether the move will boost the stock is unclear.

Looks like Home Depot may do some remodeling. The Atlanta-based retailer announced February 12 that it is considering a sale, spin-off or initial public offering for its wholesale business, which sells supplies and services to contractors.

Such a move would wipe clean the fingerprints left by former CEO Bob Nardelli. He led the retailer on an $8 billion shopping spree that created the division. Nardelli once hoped the wholesale-supply unit, which sells lumber and other materials to professional builders and furniture to hotels, would make up 20% of revenue by 2010. The division now generates about $12 billion in annual sales, or 12% of the company’s revenue. But Nardelli was ousted in January over his plush pay package and the company’s mediocre financial performance.

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Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance