Staples Makes New Bid to Acquire Office Depot Consumer, Direct Businesses

On June 4th, Staples announced that it had made a new acquisition bid for several Office Depot businesses. The firm is offering $1.0 billion, or $18.27 per share, to acquire Office Depot’s consumer business, including its Office Depot and OfficeMax retail stores business, its direct channel business (officedepot.com), and the Office Depot and OfficeMax intellectual property, including all brand names.

In a public letter to the Office Depot board of directors, Staples, which is owned by private-equity firm Sycamore Partners, noted that its $18.27 per share offer is approximately 43 percent of the 30-day average closing share price for the Office Depot share price of $43.21 as of June 2, 2021.

Staples also said its proposal also provides Office Depot with “substantial certainty” that both companies will be able to complete the proposed transaction. Staples says it intends to provide Office Depot with customary equity and debt financing commitment letters showing that it will be able to provide all funding for the transaction. It also stated that its obligation to complete the transaction will not be conditioned on receiving financing.

The firm also noted that, in November 2020, Staples filed for the necessary governmental antitrust approvals necessary to acquire Office Depot. It stated that it’s “made substantial progress responding to the governmental data and document requests.” It also said it was confident that it’s confident it will be able to obtain necessary antitrust approvals for the acquisition of the Office Depot’s Consumer Business.

In the past, Staples has tried to acquire Office Depot twice: once in 1997, and again in 2016. Both times it was blocked by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on antitrust grounds. It made an offer for Office Depot earlier this year, but Office Depot rejected that offer.

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