After nearly 50 years as a family-owned business, Frattallone's Ace Hardware & Garden is being sold to a Tennessee company that is consolidating home improvement stores.

Central Network Retail Group (CNRG) will buy all 22 of Frattallone's locations, said a news release on the purchase.

Founder Larry Frattallone opened the Arden Hills company's first hardware store in 1975.

"Our family is excited to be partnering with an industry-leading retailer like CNRG," Frattallone said in the statement. "Frattallone's and CNRG are a great fit. We both understand the importance of taking care of customers and operating first-rate local hardware stores."

Frattallone built the company with his sons, Tom and Mike, who will join CNRG at the close of the sale.

"I am very comfortable knowing CNRG will maintain and grow what we have built together," Larry Frattallone said.

CNRG now operates 139 hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards in 16 states. CNRG first entered the Minnesota market in 2018 when it acquired Mac's Hardware, giving it 14 hardware stores across the Midwest and four in Minnesota.

"Our team of associates is excited about partnering with CNRG and gaining access to new products, technology and retail programs that can help them take care of our loyal customers even better than they do today," Mike Frattallone said. "I couldn't be more proud of them for how they have handled all the effort that goes into making a change like this."

At the Frattallone's Ace store in St. Louis Park on Friday, Jeff Mueller said he was surprised to hear the business had been sold. A regular visitor over the past four years to the store, he said he'd stopped in for bird food and batteries.

"Hopefully it will continue to be the way it's been," said Mueller, who lives in St. Louis Park. "They always have helpful service and they have what I need."

Oak Brook, Ill.-based hardware cooperative Ace Hardware has more than 5,500 stores around the world with the majority of those stores independently owned and operated by local entrepreneurs, the company said.

As of mid-September, Ace Hardware had already opened 110 new stores in 2021 and planned to open at least an additional 60 stores by the end of the year. For its fiscal 2020, the company reported $7.8 billion in revenue.