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Office Depot Alleged To Re-Enter Talks For Staples Stores

Office Depot Alleged To Re-Enter Talks For Staples Stores

Office Depot Inc (NASDAQ: ODP) popped as much as 23 percent Monday on a report that the firm has held talks to acquire 1,500 stores from rival Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS).

While alleged by New York Post sources, the rumor’s veracity is corroborated by two factors: a willingness to dump brick-and-mortar business by Staples’ new owner, and Office Depot’s previous interest.

A public filing in late July noted that a bidder called “Party A,” now revealed by the Post to be Office Depot, bid between $625 million and $700 million in June for Staples’ North American locations.

Staples instead sold itself to Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm, which soon outlined a plan in which it would split Staples into three separately financed segments: U.S. retail, Canadian retail and corporate supply.

If Sycamore devalues the brick-and-mortar chains, as the Post suggested, and instead looks to capitalize on Staples’ corporate services, it may opt to jettison the physical stores.

Consideration doesn’t guarantee a deal, though.

The Federal Trade Commission blocked previously pursued Staples-Office Depot deals in 1997 and 2015 on antitrust concerns, as the merger would establish the United States’ only office-supply chain.

At time of publication, Office Depot was trading up 1.22 percent and Staples flat on the day.

Image credit: Lizsummers at English Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


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