Two locally based hardware store giants could soon be talking about building a blockbuster industry deal.

Oak Brook-based Ace Hardware is open to making a bid for its Chicago rival, True Value Co., which reportedly is exploring a sale that could fetch around $800 million.

“It is our understanding that True Value is evaluating or conducting a formal auction process for the sale of its business,” wrote John Venhuizen, Ace president and CEO, in an email the company sent to me. “At this point, we have received no contact to participate in that auction process. If contacted, we would have interest in exploring it.”

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