The Home Depot has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Maintenance Warehouse, the leading direct-mail marketer of maintenance, repair and operations products serving the $10 billion building facilities management market. The San Diego-based company with 1996 sales of approximately $130 million, will continue to operate under its own name as a subsidiary of The Home Depot.

“This transaction represents a unique opportunity to increase our penetration of commercial accounts, including our pro customer base,” said Bernard Marcus, chairman and CEO of The Home Depot. “Maintenance Warehouse will complement our strengths in the more traditional retailing market by enabling us to serve customers who prefer a direct-marketing channel of distribution. We view this marketplace as one with exciting growth potential.”

The stock transaction is expected to be completed early in the first quarter of fiscal 1997, subject to regulatory approvals. The Home Depot board of directors has approved the acquisition.

In other home center news, Kmart Corp. said it’s in talks to merge its Builders Square home improvement stores with Waban Inc.’s HomeBase stores. Los Angeles-based investment group Leonard Green & Partners L.P. would hold a majority stake in the new firm, with Kmart and Natick, MA-based Waban each retaining minority interests.