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Office Supply Giant Staples To Sell To Private Equity Firm For $6.9B

To combat slumping store sales, Staples Inc. has entered an agreement to sell to private equity firm Sycamore Partners for $6.9B.


Sycamore confirmed the acquisition Wednesday afternoon, according to the Wall Street Journal. The firm is expected to dole out $10.25/share for the office-supply chain — a premium on the $9.22/share the retailer’s stock traded at Wednesday afternoon.

Sycamore elbowed out other private equity firms bidding for the retailer, which ended the fiscal year in January with $18.2B in revenue. Cerberus Capital Management, the owner of Safeway and Albertsons, offered to acquire Staples Inc. for more than its $5.8B market value back in May, but Staples declined the offer because it was too low, people familiar with the matter said.

Staples sought to merge with office supply retail giant Office Depot in a $6.5B deal in early 2015, but the deal was rebuffed by the Federal Trade Commission in an effort to preserve competition in the office supply market.

Dealogic reports this could be the largest leveraged buyout deal of 2017, thanks to weak private equity acquisition activity this year. Staples’ shares jumped 8.4% to a close of $9.93/share following the announcement. The retailer has 1,500 stores.